Hi there, welcome to me first IZ story! Note the word 'first', as in, it's not gonna be perfect. Far from it probably. No flames, constructive criticism sure, just no flames. Now, to explain some things. I'm going to put quotes at the beginning of every chapter. To set the mood. They'll be from songs, movies, books, ext.

Feel free to suggest quotes you think I could use. (Even if you have no clue what's going to happen.) And, OC'S are coming! Yes, they'll play big roles, but the main focus shall be on Zim. And finally;

WARNING: MAJOR OOCness on Zim's part. It's deliberate. It's kinda the point. I'm going to try to keep Dib as IC as I can though. Sorry if I fail, I'm new at this.

P.S. This takes place after the never aired episode "Ten minutes to doom". I know Zim was going to die in that episode, but let's say he didn't.

Disclaimer: Oh the sorrow! I don't own IZ! Or (even more sorrow) Linkin Park!

Truth by Ignorance

By

Cheetachan

There's something inside of me

That pulls beneath the surface

Consuming, confusing

It was just another day at school (or skool if you read the sign) Ms. Bitters was giving one of her many lectures on the world's eminent DOOM. This time it was by volcanic eruption. And though Zim loved to envision humanity's destruction, he had more important things to think about. Zim's PAK had been acting up recently. Every so often it would shut down for a few seconds - not a very long time - but it was worrisome none the less, and it would send jolts into him when it wasn't necessary.

Zap.

'Errr, not again!' Those stupid jolts were actually stating to get painful! Before they were just annoying but this…When had his PAK started this strange behavior anyway? About a week ago sounded right, right after Dib had tried to steel it. He had come closer to succeeding than Zim would have cared to admit to, but as always -

Click!

'Eh? That was different.' His PAK had never 'clicked' before. Anyway, as always Zim emerged victorious. Really, was there any other way for it go? He was ZIM after all, and that simply meant unbeatable. Dib was never able to destroy him, give him minor set backs sure, but never truly beat him. And he'd survived every death trap the Tallests ever sent his way…wait, what? Well, the Tallests had sent him on some pretty strange missions…Why was that?

Click!

Because he was their best Invader of course! They just couldn't trust anyone else on such important matters.

Click!

But if that was the case, why didn't they seem more interested in his reports? Except for when he told them how tall the humans were, they never really seemed to pay attention. If this planet was so special, shouldn't they care about what he had learned?

Zim shook his head. What was wrong with him?

Rriiiiinngg!!

"All right children," said Ms. Bitters. "Skool is done for today, now get out of my class room!"

The children happily obeyed, running out of the skool as if their lives depended on it. Knowing who the teacher was, that may have been the case. As Zim got up to leave, he noticed Dib in the ocean of bodies.

Dib…Of course! That was it! Zim didn't have any of these problems until after Dib had stolen his PAK!

He must have planted some kind of virus. That's what was causing him pain and what was making him think these ridiculous thoughts! Ooo, That horrible human!

XXXX

Dib moved quickly as he avoided getting run over by the other students. Would it kill them to look where they were going? He had wanted to confront Zim before he left the skool; he seemed to be in deep thought. Knowing Zim that could not be good. But when he'd gotten out of his seat to go over to him, he got caught in the after skool stampede. He really had to learn to wait until after everyone else left to get up.

Well, it wasn't to much of a problem, Zim was a pretty easy guy to find.

"Hey! Dib-Stink!"

See?

"What do you want Zim- Oof!"

Zim had tackled Dib, forcing him to the ground. Dib struggled to get up, but Zim held him down. He was almost on Dib's stomach.

"What have done to my PAK?" He demanded.

"What?" asked Dib. He looked at Zim's eyes; they were burning with anger and hate.

"MY PAK! What have you done to Zim's PAK?!"

Dib continued to struggle, but it was in vain. Zim had a good grip when he was mad.

"Get off of me Zim! I didn't do anything to your stupid PAK!"

"LIES! My PAK's been behaving strangely, and it started right after you stole it!"

"I didn't do anything!" Dib insisted, but it was clear that Zim didn't believe him.

"You had my PAK for nearly ten minutes, more than enough time to plant a virus," Zim tightened his grip on Dib. "Now I wont ask again; what did you do my PAK and how do I reverse it?"

Dib was getting fed up with this. " Geez Zim how many times do have to tell you? I didn't do anything!"

Zim looked like he going to say something else, but paused, a strange look crossed his face. And then he (much Dib's surprise) got off of him. Zim almost looked lost. Dib stood, keeping his eye on Zim.

And then, as suddenly as the first change, Zim went back to normal. (Well, normal for Zim anyway)

"Fine then, don't tell me. Zim doesn't need a pitiful human's help anyway!"

"Sure you don't," said Dib. "That's why you attacked me, because you didn't need my help."

Zim didn't reply to that, and just walked away. Dib watched him go, he was about to turn to go home when Zim stopped. The spots on his PAK began flashing, and little bits of static started to fly out. It seemed to be giving Zim a lot of pain too. He just stood there, trembling. And then without warning, he started running, like he wanted to get away from something. Dib had no idea what had just happened, but he was determined to find out.

XXXX

'The pain, the pain! I have to get to the base!' Zim thought as he ran franticly, though he wasn't sure he was going the right way. The pain was actually affecting his vision, or maybe it wasn't the pain, maybe it was those horrible questions. Yes, they were back. And they were louder, and there were so many of them.

'Why won't they stop?! Just stop curse you STOP!!' And, as if they heard him they stopped, the pain was gone too. 'Finally, hey where am I?'

Zim stopped running, and looked at his surroundings, he was in an alley A filthy one at that. There were trash cans and garbage bags every where. It only took seconds for him to realize he'd been there before. Dib had chased him thru this particular alley many times. Well, he wasn't too far off course. Zim turned to leave when:

"NOBODY MOVE! I'VE GOT A GUN!"

'What the…?' He turned back around, and saw a man at the other end of the alley. His back was towards Zim. And he did indeed have gun, and a hostage. A little girl. A crowd was forming around them. All of them were obeying the man's order, for fear of what he would do. The small child was crying and screaming for her parents, it made Zim's squeedely spooch turn, even on Irk, attacking a smeet was low.

A part of Zim said he should do something, while another said that she was just an inferior human, none of his concern. The girl continued to cry, Zim wasn't sure what he should do.

And then, Dib showed up.

XXXX

Dib rounded the corner; he knew he saw Zim go this way…A-hah! There he was!

"Hey Zim! What was that all about- oh no…" Dib took in the whole scene, the girl, Zim just standing there, and the man with the gun. Who unfortunately had heard him.

"DON'T YOU THINK OF TRYING ANYTHING!" the man screamed, jabbing his gun in their direction. "I'LL BLOW YOUR BRAINS OUT!" With that he turned back towards the crowd.

As soon as he did, Dib began digging around his pockets. Of all the days to leave his cell phone at home…There had be something he could do.

KLANG!

"Huh?!" Dib watched in shock as a garbage can lid collided with the man's head, knocking him out. The now free little girl ran into the arms of her crying parents. But it wasn't any of that that had shocked Dib; it was who had thrown the lid, thus saving the girl: Zim. And judging by the look on his face, Zim was just as surprised as he was.

Why would Zim do that? There was nothing evil about saving little girls, it was the exact opposite of evil. And didn't Zim hate humans? Why help one? This was nothing like the Zim Dib had come to know. Maybe he didn't know Zim as well as he thought he did? Wait a second, didn't Zim say something was wrong with his PAK? Yeah, he did. Maybe that had something to do with it.

"Zim?" said Dib, as walked he toward him. "Why did you do that?"

Zim looked at him, Dib saw no anger in his eyes, only what looked like confusion. And something akin to fear.

"Zim," he tried again. "Why did do it? Why did you save that girl?"

Zim was silent for a moment, then said:

"I…don't…" He trailed off.

"What?"

"I don't…know."

"You don't know?"

Zim shook his head. "No, I do-" He stopped, his eyes got wide. His PAK's spots started flashing again, like they had earlier. He began to shake, as if he was very cold.

"Zim?" asked Dib, actually feeling a little concerned for the alien. "Hey Zim, are you okay?"

"I don't know…" His PAK started making clicking and buzzing noises. "I don't know." His shaking grew more violent. Dib briefly wondered if he was having some kind of seizure.

"I don't know." Zim kept saying that over and over. He buried his face in his hands. Dib almost thought Zim was crying, but there were no tears falling, and no sobbing either.

Dib cautiously reached towards him, not really sure why he cared. "Zim?" How many times had he said that today anyway?

"NO!!" Zim suddenly screamed, Dib jerked back in surprise. "STOP IT!"

"ZIM!?"

Zim stood there for only another second then bolted.

Dib was frozen where he stood , dumbstruck. After a moment, he came back to his senses. "ZIM WAIT!" he shouted, and tried to go after him. But he lost him.

'That was weird.' he thought. Okay, there was definitely something wrong with Zim.

XXXX

Zim ran to his base. His sight wasn'tmessed up like before so he knew that he going the right way. But though his sight was fine, inside was another mater. Inside, he felt like he was splitting in half, not physically, mentally. And those halves were at war with each other.

The first half was calling him weak for allowing himself to affected by a human, and it called him a fool for saving a member of the race he supposed to destroy.

The second half said the opposite. It told him that he did the right thing, the girl was defenseless. And it asked why he had to destroy the humans anyway? True they could be pretty dense. But did they really deserve to die?

Needless to say, Zim was very relieved when he reached his base. He practically broke the door down.

"COMPUTER!"

"Whaaaat?"

"Run a scan on my PAK, check for any viruses or damage."

"Fine." A cord shot down from the ceiling, and attached to Zim's PAK. "Scanning…No viruses or damage found."

"WHAT!?" Screeched Zim. "That can't be right!"

"Of course it's right, my scans are never wrong." The computer spoke in it's usual 'I don't give a crap' tone of voice.

Zim couldn't believe that, if that was true, than the problem wasn't in his PAK. It was…No! That couldn't be it! It was clearly his PAK that had caused him pain earlier, so it probably was giving him those un-Irken notions to. The computer must've missed something, yes that had to be it.

"Run another scan."

"But I just said-"

"I DON'T CARE! RUN ANOTHER SCAN!"

"Look, I'm telling you; everything's functioning normally for a defective PAK!" The computer paused. "Oh, wait…There does seem to be a problem in..."

Zim didn't hear anything after that, he was caught on one word: Defective. That word, a word he never paid any mind to before, now seemed to reach his very core. It stabbed into him, like an ice cold knife. His vision began to blur again, there was no pain this time, the questions weren't back either. Only that word, echoing thru him.

Everything seemed to be closing in on him, he was suffocating. He had to get away. He wasn't really thinking clearly anymore, he just knew he had to get out. He headed for the elevator.

Just had to get away…

XXXX

When Zim's head finally started to become clear again, he found out something very interesting. He had indeed 'gotten away', very far away. He was in the Voot cruiser, and the planet Saturn, was in sight. This was bad - very, very bad. Whatever was wrong in his PAK was getting worse. Even if the computer couldn't find anything, clearly something was broken. He'd just have to go back to Earth and-

"Hiya Master!"

Zim nearly jumped out of his seat. "Gah! Gir! What are you doing here!?"

"We're goin' on vacation!" Gir exclaimed, Zim then noticed that he had staw hat on.

"Vacation? What gave you that idea?"

"You said we was 'getting away'," of course. "So where we goin'? PIGGY LAND!?"

Zim sighed. "No Gir we're going back to Earth."

"Awww…"

They were currently over one of Saturn's moons, Zim was about to turn the Cruiser around when:

Warning: Fuel tanks low!

"What!?" How were they supposed to get back to Earth!? He looked at the moon, maybe there is something there he could use to fuel the ship. If not…He decided not to think about it. Zim steered the Voot towards the moon. It didn't take long, they were just a few miles above the surface…

Warning: Fuel tanks empty!

Typical.

"AAAAHHHHHHH!!"

Boom.

XXXX

Zim cracked his eyes open, he was still in the Voot Cruiser. It was pretty banged up as far he could tell. And so was he apparently, he could barely move. This was not how he was supposed to die. If he had to die, why couldn't it have been in battle? That at least had some dignity to it.

"Over here! I found it!"

Did he just hear someone?

"Yeah I see it!"

He did! Someone had found him! But were they friends or foes? He heard a sound like a drill, so he was about to find out. They broke thru, and nearly stabbed him. Couldn't they watch where they pointed that thing?!

The drill was removed and Zim saw just how big the hole it made was. Fixing that would not be easy. Once the drill was gone one of Zim's (assumable) rescuers peered inside. It was a Vortian male, and it didn't take him long to spot Zim.

"Hey!" The Vortian called over his shoulder. "Call the Doc', tell him he was right, the ship that crashed was Irken." He paused and looked back at Zim, Amazement crossed his features. "WHOA! And the pilot survived!"

"Are there any others?" Zim heard a female-sounding voice ask.

"I don't know, let me check."

Just then Gir chose to make his appearance.

"Hi taquito man!"

"Uh, yeah there is, a SIR. But I think his AI chip was damaged."

"Maybe he's one of them dysfunctional units?" asked a deeper voiced male. The male who it belonged to was now next to the Vortian. He looked like one of those rock people.

"Maybe," said the Vortian. "C'mon, lets take them to the to Doc."

The Doc?

XXXX

It didn't take long for them to bring Zim to where the "Doc'' apparently was, Zim was surprised to find that they had a fairly good-sized compound on this moon. He was being carried by the rock being. He could hear Gir's babbling in the background.

They stopped in front of a door that read 'Med Bay'. Were they going heal him? The door opened; another Vortian stepped out; this one was clearly elderly though.

"This him I take it?"

The rock being nodded.

"Alright then," said the old male. "Take him inside, and set on him on the table."

The rock male did as he was told. Once Zim was on the table, he heard the old one shout:

"ALRIGHT, BRING THE PROPER TOOLS! PREP FOR PAK REMOVAL SURGARY!"

Zim's eyes widened. PAK removal!? They were going to kill him!?

The Rock being must have noticed his fear, because he smiled at Zim, and leaned closer.

"Don't worry little fella, it'll be over soon," someone stuck a needle in Zim's shoulder. "Soon, you'll be free."

Everything began to fade away.

'No…'

Black.

To be continued…

I hope it isn't too long or too short. So how'd I do? I tried to keep Zim sorta IC for this chap'. But next chap' the OOCness shall begin! R&R please! Wanna guess what's next?

Siochain,

Cheetachan