CHAPTER 1: Looking to the Past

On July 1 1863, Union and Confederate forces met at a small farming town in southern Pennsylvania. What followed was to become one the bloodiest battles in American history. Close to 50,000 men died in what became the major turning point in the Civil War. It is to all the men who gave their last full measure of devotion, to all those on both sides who sacrificed everything for their cause that I dedicate this. And it is to two of those men, Generals Winfield Scott Hancock, and Lewis Armistead that I make a special dedication to. The friendship that these two men shared, and the tragedy that brought them together on opposite sides of the battlefield stands as a symbol of what the Civil War really was: A war between friends, between brothers, between neighbors. I have attempted to make this fic as historically accurate as possible. There will be some discrepancies, of course, and feel free to point them out.

Zim adjusted the final bolt on the behemoth of a machine that he had just constructed. He stepped back from the impressive archway of metal, glass and blinking lights and looked upon his newly-construed device.

"Perrrrfect…" Zim grinned evilly. He looked at his robot sidekick. "GIR, with this time-space displacement device, I can go back in time and use the primitive humans' inferior brains to take over. When they see my amazing power, they will bow down to me! Then I, ZIM shall become ruler of the WORLD!"

"Ohhhhhh…" Gir said, awestruck. "Does it make cotton candy?" Zim facepalmed and shook his head.

"I've created something special for YOU, Gir." Zim said, holding up a chip.

"Oooooo, whatizit?" The little robot said, amazed.

"It's a chip designed to make you act like a GOOD dog while you're in disguise. We can't take any chances on messing this up. Do you understand Gir?"

"Yes." Gir answered. Then he began to look confused. "Wait….no."

"Here." Zim said, opening Gir's head. "I'll just…" He fumbled around inside the mostly empty head of his robot servant, and finally locked the chip into place. "And THERE!" Zim took a few prideful steps back. "Gir! DOG MODE!" Immediately, the robot pulled on his newer, non-green dog suit, which made him look a bit like an ugly, misshapen basset. "Excellent." Zim said lowly. "Sit!" Gir obeyed for once, sitting like a dog. "Talk!"

"Arooof!" Gir said, imitating a dog horribly."

"Eh, well, better than nothing." Zim sighed. "Let's warm up the machine.

Meanwhile, Dib and Tak walked toward Zim's base. It hadn't taken long after Tak's return for the two to team up to finally end Zim. Tak no longer cared for destroying the Earth, so Dib had no qualms against working with her. He was secretly glad Tak had come to him for the task. He still had an unrequited crush on the alien invader. He looked at her as they walked. The wind blew through the blue hair of her human disguise. She glanced at him, and Dib felt like butter. He was in love. But how could he tell her? How could he prove himself worthy of…

"Watch out for that pole." Tak said.

"Huh?" Dib asked. WHACK! Dib walked right into a telephone pole. 'Genius' Dib mentally cursed himself. He straightened his round glasses and regained his composure. "So what's the plan again?" He asked with an upraised eyebrow. Tak sighed.

"It's gonna be simple this time, Dib." Tak replied. "We'll get to Zim's base, and I'll remove any security devices out front. We'll storm his house, and catch him by surprise."

"Uhh-huh…" Dib said.

"Yes, you get Zim to dissect, or turn into the army or whatever." Tak said with a wave of her hand. "But I get to kill him."

"Deal." Dib said with a smile. They reached Zim's circus-looking house. The two stood at the sidewalk a moment. Tak cracked her knuckles.

"You ready, Dib?" Tak asked with an evil grin. Dib smiled deviously too.

"Oh…MAN, am I ready for this." He replied.

Zim watched the lights on the machine blink, becoming more and more steady. A low whirring sound filled the air. Zim reached for the keypad, and began punching in numbers.

"Gotta get this right." Zim muttered. "Unless there coordinates are set right, who KNOWS when in this fffffilthy planet's history I'd end up." He shuddered dramatically. Gir licked himself in the middle of the floor. "Almoooost, aaand…" Suddenly, the door burst open.

"Hold it right there, Zim!" Dib called.

"Dib!" Zim growled.

"You're dead, so give it up!" Tak said, leaping into the room.

"Tak!" Zim growled. "How did you get past my base's defenses?"

"Never mind that, Zim!" Tak sneered. "We're…"

"How did you get past my base's defenses?!" Zim yelled at the ceiling with clenched fists.

"Well, we…" Dib began to answer.

"How did you get past my base's defenses?!" Zim interrupted.

"Shut up!" Tak yelled, diving at Zim.

"Yes!" Dib exclaimed. "Get him, Tak!" He called, and ran to where the fight was breaking out.

"Get off of me!" Zim yelled. He shoved Tak off, and she stumbled back, grabbing Zim's collar as she fell. She toppled into Dib, and the trio fell through the metal archway, but not out the other side. Gir watched the whole thing, then barking badly, jumped through after his master.

Well, that was chapter one. Please review. I haven't written an IZ fic in a while, and being out of the game so long, I'm worried I may be a bit rusty. Ah well. Until next time, cheerio!