Disclaimer: I do not own Invader Zim. Jhonen Vasquez does. I'm just borrowing his characters for this story. I'll give them back later – except for Gir. I'm keeping him.


"C'mon, master," said Gir. "We're going to be late."

Zim took one last look in the mirror. He hated wearing this earthly disguise, but the occasion demanded it. He followed Gir out the door to the Voot. Gir drove and for once, Gir was quiet.

The Voot wasn't noticed, because other light craft dotted the heavily clouded skies now. There would be rain before the day was out. Not that rain bothered Zim now. He had genetically altered his skin so water would no longer cause burning pain.

When they reached their destination, Zim and Gir got out and joined the crowd of people filing into the large building. Zim wondered whether lightning would strike when he entered the church.

Stupid humans, Zim thought. They actually believe this God stuff. Of course they have such puny little lives with their inferior bodies that maybe they get comfort thinking there is something after. Zim would never pray to a god. Any of them.

Gods are inconvenient. And messy. Look at all the wars that have happened here on earth just in the short time I've been here. How could there be a god? What kind of deity would fail to protect people from invaders like the mighty Zim? This is just another proof of the superiority of Irkans.

When they finally got into the church, Zim and Gir had to sit in the back of the large church. Zim looked around with interest. Maybe there would be some information he could glean from this event that would help him in his mission to successfully conquer the planet.

In the front of the church, raised on a dais, the casket gleamed in the light coming through the stained glass windows. Zim and Gir, however were too far away to see it well.

Suddenly, the murmurings of the crowd hushed. From the rear of the church a stately processional had formed and was making its way to the front of the church. Zim watched their odd actions. A man in a long gown with a stole around his neck came first. He had a censer from which smoke drifted lazily. He swung the censer gently in a pendulum-like motion. As he passed the row where Zim and Gir sat, Gir said, "Incense! I love incense." But he said it quietly, so quietly that Zim barely heard him.

After the man with the censer, came a youth with a flame coming from a long, thin stick. Zim guessed it was a strangely shaped oil lamp. Several people followed after the lamp. All were dressed in black and all were teary-eyed, except for the woman with the white hair. A large streak had been dyed purple. Somehow that looked sad.

As each person in the procession reached the front, he or she went down on one knee and waved a hand in a crossing gesture. Zim knew this to be one of the things these backwards, short-lived humans did to honor their God. Once again, Zim thought about the stupidity of believing in deities.

For a few moments, silence fell as some the black dressed mourners took their seats. Then the man who had led the parade began to speak. Zim didn't understand the mumbojumbo the man was saying. Something about having eternal life.

After the lead man had spoken for a while, a woman went to the lectern and began speaking. She talked about Professor Membrane's life, his work for the university, his zeal and his friendship. When she was finished speaking, a man went to the lectern and talked about the same things the woman had. This went on for about an hour; person after person talked about the wonderful Professor Membrane in glowing terms. Idly, Zim wondered whether they had known him well or whether they just wanted to talk in front of hundreds of people. Unfavorably, Zim compared the speakers to Tallest Red. He liked to talk to a crowd.

When the service was over, six men took hold of the handles on the polished mahogany coffin. There was another procession, this one leading with the coffin. The crowd of mourners filed out after the parade.

This church had a cemetery next door. In spite of a drizzle of rain now falling, most of the crowd moved to the cemetery. Because Zim and Gir had been close to the back of the church, they were able to stand close to the rectangular hole where the coffin was suspended. More mumbojumbo ensued and Zim tuned out again, but overheard someone talking about how he would be missed at the PRU.

When the man was finished speaking, the crowd prayed. After that, the coffin was lowered slowly into the ground. Zim looked directly at the old lady with the white and purple hair. She returned his gaze for several moments, then she bent slightly and scooped up a handful of dirt.

"Game Over, Dib," said Gaz as she threw the dirt onto the top of the coffin. She was followed by Dib's sons, grandchildren, each with their handful of dirt. Zim and Gir followed next, each leaving their handful of dirt. Gir whispered softly, "I love Dib."

They filed past the grave. Zim slowed slightly to read the headstone: Dib Membrane 1996-2087. Father - Friend - Founder of the Paranormal Research University.

Foe, added Zim to himself. Most Worthy Rival.

Gir and Zim left the cemetery in the rain. I'm not really crying for that filthy big-headed human. It's just the rain. There's no use trying to get to know these inferior humans. They die too fast. Sometimes I think it's not worth conquering Earth. What good are slaves that die on you all the time?