A/N: This fanfic is rated T for gore, character death, and strong language.
A good song to listen to while reading this is "You Better Pray" by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus: something angry that isn't a break up song.
"[Dark Harvest] showed that, played straight, Zim is a complete monster."
Updated 10/24/15: I've been rereading some of my old fanfics, and my first and only attempt at the horror genre seemed lacking. With Halloween around the corner, I figured this was the perfect time to revise it. I decided to add a scene where Zim acquires the first of five hearts. I think it helps explain Zim's reasoning, and it adds more justification for Dib's actions at the end. Also, at least one reviewer felt that some of the insults were too harsh, so I toned them down. Besides, the actions of these characters speak louder than words.
It would have been typical skool day if that horrible rat bird hadn't flown in the window and landed on Zim's head. Its claws stuck his superior skin through his wig. He felt like screaming, but instead he stiffened and held his breath. Maybe this was normal in Earth skools. He had only been there for a month, so how should he know?
"Zim!" barked Ms. Bitters.
He jumped in his seat, realizing that he hadn't been paying the slightest attention to the teacher's lecture.
"You have head pigeons!" said Ms. Bitters, pointing. "Get to the nurse before you spread them to the other children."
Zim stood, not knowing what or where the nurse was. Ms. Bitters removed a thin collar from her drawer and held it toward him. He intuitively stepped toward her, causing the "pijen" to dig its claws deeper into his skin to keep its balance.
"Take this hall pass." She lowered the collar over Zim's head, and it contracted around his neck. "If you leave skool grounds, it will explode."
Primitive Earth restraints. On Irken planets they could program portals to recognize certain aliens' DNA and make their molecules expand until they exploded. Feh.
"You know, Zim," said Dib, interrupting Zim's thoughts of superiority, "when the nurse examines you, she'll notice that you don't have human organs. Then it's a short trip to the hospital, and from there to an alien autopsy table, and then you're just another episode of Mysterious Mysteries."
Zim got kind of lost at the end of the stink-beast's little speech, but he gathered from the context that the nurse must be a kind of medical drone. He sure didn't want to end up on an autopsy table - cut with their inferior knives!
The Invader faced the door, not glancing at Dib. "I'll be fine. I bet my squeedlyspooch on it." He smirked at his private joke - the Earth monkey probably didn't even know what a squeedlyspooch was.
He strode out the door, the rat bird cooing on the way, and down the hall which ended with a semicircle of doors impossibly crammed side by side. One was marked NURSE - good thing he'd downloaded the English language to his PAK. However, a movement through the door marked BIOLOGY caught his eye, and he peeked inside. A teacher pointed to a skeleton filled with model organs. So that was what the stench-organs looked like. There were so many of them! And they were all different shapes and colors. What did they need them all for?
"Hall pass?" said a voice beside him, and Zim turned to see a boy with some kind of scope over one eye. Also he had an orange sash that said HALL MONITOR.
Zim stared. "Say, you're full of organs, aren't you?"
"Why yes. Yes I am."
"And you wouldn't happen to notice if you were, say missing a few?"
The boy shrugged. "Probably not."
Zim snickered. The Dib-worm thought the humans would cut open Zim's organs, but it would be Zim who stole human organs to shield his Irken ones! The irony was delicious. His snicker mounted to a full-blown cackle. The foolish hall monitor laughed too, without knowing what was funny, much like GIR did.
Zim stopped laughing first. He reached into his PAK and pulled out his tissue extractor. He shoved it onto the boy's belly - that was where most of the organs were - and began the transplant. The extractor popped a blinding flash, and the human screamed. Zim peered through the afterglowy spots on his eyes at the reddish-brown organ in the bowl. It was lumpy and oblong and glistening with…something. It was disgusting. Maybe even covered with germs! Did he really want to put that in his body?
The hall monitor moaned, eyes glazed in shock. Zim hardened his resolve. There was no wavering, no going back. If he didn't steal their organs, they'd steal his sooner or later. It was survival of the fittest. He held the bowl with the organ to his stomach and transplanted it into his body. He suppressed a moan as his squeedlyspooch was pushed toward his spine to make room for the organ meat.
"I guess I should find something to replace your organ," said Zim to the glassy-eyed boy. He transplanted his hall pass into the dirt child's belly. Then he sauntered away, but as he walked, he felt a cramp in his squeedlyspooch. He frowned. It was probably his body trying to reject the alien organ. Well, he would walk it off. He was an elite soldier, an Invader! It would take more than a little pain to stop him from finding his next victim.
A few minutes after Zim left class, Dib decided he didn't want to miss the show that would surely happen in the nurse's office. He did the old pencil-lodged-in-his-brain trick, and Ms. Bitters let him leave, but only if he took the auxiliary hall pass, a huge radiator that was almost as old as Ms. Bitters. Dib pushed it to the nurse's office, but when he got there Zim was gone.
"Did someone with head pigeons come here?" he asked the receptionist, or whatever she was.
"I haven't seen anyone with head pigeons today kid." The woman didn't even glance at him as she tilted a moo can back and forth.
"You know, Zim." Dib tilted his head to try to meet her eyes. "The green kid?"
"Oh the green child. He's right over there. He's missing his liver. That's how some of the kids react to the cafeteria food. The lucky ones." The woman craned her neck down and looked straight at Dib. Then she sat up and focused on the moo can again.
He turned toward the boy, a hall monitor who sat trembling and clutching his stomach.
"The cooing! The cooing!" whispered the boy.
Dib frowned and slipped on his x-scope goggles which he'd had delivered to skool. They showed the kid's organs. And something wasn't right. There was a spindly loop of metal where his liver should be.
Dib gasped. "The hall pass!" He flipped his x-scope to the back of his head. "It's Zim! It has to be! He's stealing organs and replacing them with…stuff! I have to stop him."
"Don't forget your hall pass," said the lady.
"Right," said Dib with a sigh.
Zim found that there wasn't anyone else in the hallway. He had to get inside a room to find more organs, but he had to be stealthy. So he crawled inside a poorly designed and dusty ventilation shaft. Through the first slotted opening was a woman with a mooing can thingy. She was sitting there right below him like a Vort on a couch. Perfect. He removed the metal fasteners and lifted the vent cover, lowering the transparent bowl over her head. A blinding flash, and something that bore a strong resemblance to an Irken brain appeared in the bowl. Zim replaced it with a can of carbonated liquid, stifling a laugh. She'd never even miss it! He transferred her brain to his torso since he doubted another brain could fit in his skull. The pain in his squeedlyspooch intensified, and he gritted his teeth. The dirty pigeon crooned on his head. Zim crawled through the shaft and heard metal scraping on concrete, and a child grunting. He shuffled along and heard the child speak.
Oh, yes. It was the Dib. The little worm-baby had picked the wrong time to snoop around. He wouldn't be able to snoop without a brain. Yessss. This made the pain all worthwhile. Trying not to make a sound, Zim slid toward the next vent cover, but the rat bird's coo echoed through the shaft.
"Zim?" said Dib.
Zim gave up sneaking and scurried to the vent.
"Do not show fear," muttered Dib to himself. "This is me without fear. And a 62 pound hall pass."
Grinning, Zim unbolted the slotted cover and extended his device down to his enemy's head. Unfortunately the lunch bell rang at that moment, and another child opened a classroom door right where Dib stood, bumping him to the floor. Students herded into the hall, and there were so many that Zim had trouble singling one out. Wait, that red haired child was slower than the others. Zim reached his extractor toward him and withdrew some sort of squiggly brown organ, replacing it with Dib's hall pass.
Zim was starting to wonder if he should be more selective with the types of organs he acquired. He wanted at least one of each kind, but maybe he should get some extra organs if he had room. Then again, he wasn't sure how much longer he could put off going to see the human medical drone. It would have to be sometime before the end of the skool day.
Zim decided to gather more information. He climbed out of the vent with his PAK legs. His squeedlyspooch cramped with every step, but he walked as briskly as possible. It would be ideal if he could find another human alone...There! A small, chubby female classmate crouched down, tying her shoe. Zim couldn't remember her name, but he thought it might be M-something. Melvin? Was that considered a girl's name here? Zim wouldn't have cared if it weren't for the fact that his mission required him to blend in and learn as much as possible about the native inhabitants. The things he did to fulfill his duty.
He cleared his throat. "Greetings, M...you," he said.
The child looked up. "Don't give me head pigeons!"
"You have absolutely nothing to worry about," Zim recited. A feather floated down and stuck to the middle of his face, and he blew it off. "I was just wondering, what would you say is the most important organ in the disgusting human body?"
The girl stood. "Well..." The blue centers of her eyes drifted apart before re-focusing on Zim's face. "I would say that the heawt is the most impowtant owgan, because you have to follow youw heawt!" She clasped her stubby little hands in front of her chest. "And – and also it pumps blood to all youw othah owgans, so you can't suhvive without it."
Zim put his finger to his chin. "Really? What if it was, say, replaced with something else?"
"I..." She frowned. "I don't know. It would have to be something that can pump blood thwough youw body."
Zim nodded. "One last question: What does a human heart look like?"
She held up a plush toy with a shape that had two lumps on top and tapered to a point on the bottom. It also had a face, but it was safe to assume that the eyes and mouth were added to make it more appealing to human babies, rather than a realistic representation. Probably.
Zim grinned and narrowed his eyes. "Perfect." He pulled out his organ extractor and placed it over her chest. He reasoned that a human heart would be in approximately the same place as an Irken heart, and anyway, the girl held her hands in front of her chest whenever she talked about it.
The organ extractor extended from his PAK, and the girl blinked in surprise.
The instrument flashed, and there in the bowl appeared a pulsating red organ that only vaguely resembled the toy – in fact, it looked remarkably like an Irken heart. It definitely did not have a face, thank the Tallest. Bracing himself for the pain he had come to expect, Zim transported the heart into his own chest. He turned his attention back to the girl. She reacted differently from the other humans. She collapsed to the floor, her eyes fixed straight ahead. Zim had difficulty reading human expressions, but he got the sense that the girl wasn't seeing anything. The heart toy lay on the floor next to her hand. Zim picked it up in the extractor and transplanted it into her chest. Most of the children had cried out in pain when they received their replacement object, but there was no response from this earth monkey. He prodded her with his toe. There was no movement; she didn't even seem to be breathing. Didn't humans need to breathe fairly often? Apparently this human was right: the heart really was the most important organ.
Shaking his head, Zim turned away from her. There was no time to concern himself with this worm-baby. Maybe he'd return her heart to her after the nurse declared him a normal human, if he was in a generous mood – and fat chance of that happening.
Dib stood and saw a flash, heard a scream. Then Spoo toddled toward him, his body grotesquely distorted into the shape of the old radiator.
"I don't feel so good," he quavered, and fell forward with a muffled thud.
Dib gasped. "You monster!" he yelled at the ceiling, where he was sure Zim was. Then he turned and ran toward the cafeteria to warn the other kids. He slowed uneasily when he entered the room.
Kids lay on the floor and on the benches, trays dumped on the floor. Most of them were as green as Zim. And it wasn't even ketchup and rice day!
He noticed Gaz sitting up and looking healthier than the others. Dib ran to see if she was all right. No, she wasn't quite herself. She was poking the side of her belly.
"Don't bother me, Dib, I'm in the zone."
There was a pink square glowing through her dress. Dib ground his teeth, his fingernails pushing into his palms. Zim had crossed the line this time. Dib put on his x-scope to confirm his fear. Sure enough, Gaz's Gameslave was nestled in her intestines. That alien scum must've stolen her…spleen? Appendix? Dib wasn't sure. He should study human anatomy when this was over. If he survived. He cringed.
"Doesn't that hurt?" he asked his sister.
Instead of threatening, Gaz shrugged. "Eh. I think Zim took my appendix or something. He can keep it. Now go away."
Dib focused his x-scope on the other kids. Tae had a ruler propped against his spine. Gretchen's stomach was gone, a remote control in its place. Melvin had an old-fashioned alarm clock in his throat. Carl seemed to be missing a liver too, replaced by a carton of milk. Penny - what the hell? Just when Dib thought he'd seen everything. Penny had a live cat inside her body.
And then - whoa. That was a gigantic mass of organs. Uh-oh. He pushed back his x-scope, sucking in his breath. It was Zim. Only he was bloated to several times his normal size, lumpy almost beyond recognition. And that damn pigeon was still on his head.
Dib clenched his fists and stepped toward his nemesis. "That's it Zim! This has to stop! You've gone too far!"
"I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about." As the alien spoke, intestines sloshed in his mouth, steaming for some reason. There was a faint sizzling too, until the cooing drowned it out.
"Look at you!" Dib pointed. "You're a hideous blob of stolen organs!"
Zim's eye twitched, and he scrunched it shut. "I've been working out." He gagged and spewed out a large intestine. Then he slurped it up like a noodle and pulled his lips back in something vaguely like a smile.
"You think you can fool a trained professional?" asked Dib, crossing his arms.
"Yes," said Zim in a flat tone. Then his limbs went stiff and quivery. "Gah! The PAIN! I mean, eh…I'm fine! I'm NORMAL!"
"Serves you RIGHT Zim!" shouted Dib. "How do you think the human kids feel, huh? Huh? How many hearts did you take?"
"Five of them. I think."
"Five!?" Dib's eyes went wide and his nostrils flared. "You killed five kids!? At least?"
The alien monster shook his head, his movement limited by the organs bunched inside his throat. "No. No, I replaced them with stuff. They'll be fine."
"Humans can't live without hearts, you MURDERER!"
Zim waved his claws. "So there's a few less human slaves for the Empire. Who cares?"
Dib cracked. He lunged at the alien scum and wrapped his bony arms around Zim's swollen neck. Zim's eyes bulged as he tightened his chokehold. Then there was a flash and something pierced the inside of Dib's chest and oh God it hurt it was hard to breathe. His arms slipped from Zim's neck, and he fell to the floor. The monster leaned over him, sniggering and holding a clear bowl with a lung in it. Dib's lung. It was pink and shiny and quivering and Dib swallowed down a bout of nausea. With a smug snake look, Zim put the bowl to his own chest, and the lung disappeared with a flash. Into Zim's body. Dib hyperventilated and grew lightheaded, but he forced himself into a crouch.
"Poor little Earth stink. Don't worry, you get a consolation prize." Zim slammed the bowl into Dib's chest, knocking him back down, and the bowl flashed again.
Dib propped himself up with his arms, trying to disregard the pain. "You won't get away with this, you," he wheezed, making a mooing noise, "you waste of skin. I…I swear…"
"Save your breath, Dib," said Zim in a gleeful tone, and he stepped on Dib's stomach on his way to the door.
Zim waddled toward the nurse's office. He was satisfied that he had bested the Dib, even though he didn't get his brain like he'd wanted at the beginning. Zim couldn't fully enjoy it, though, because the disgusting human organs were smothering his squeedlyspooch and heart with a searing fire.
At last he staggered into the nurse's office. "Zim is here to be examined by the nurse," he announced through the organs that singed his tongue. The desk drone drooled carbonated water.
Then a fat woman dressed in white bustled through a door at the opposite end of the room, oblivious to the brainless woman. "What's the matter with you, young man?" she asked with a wide smile.
"Nothing," said Zim. The rat bird cooed.
"I see you've got head pigeons. That's nothing to worry about." She shooed it off with a delicate wave, and it flew up and landed in the desk drone's hair. "I'll just check your temperature."
Dib stumbled toward the door of the nurse's office and paused outside, cringing at the soft moo coming from his mouth. That psycho had put the receptionist's moo can where his lung should have been. Well, Dib was about to get his lung back and more. He kicked open the door and stalked toward the hideous blob.
"Your evil plan won't work, Zim. You'll never pull this off." Dib's voice was weaker than normal, and a moo crept in. Damn.
The piece of crap narrowed his eyes. "You speak craziness, Dib-pig. More organs means more human." His mouth twitched.
The nurse waddled up to them and pulled out Zim's thermometer. "There!" She held it up. "Why you're one of the healthiest little boys I've seen! And such plentiful organs!" Zim smirked, and Dib's mouth dropped open. How. Could she not see. Seriously!
The nurse turned to Dib, putting her hands on her knees. "And what's the matter with you, honey?"
Dib stared for a moment. "I don't even know where to begin." A moo slipped out at the end.
The nursed jumped back and grabbed her face. "It's horrible! It isn't human!"
"What!?" Dib pointed to Zim. "Lady, he's the one with five - no, six hearts! And you know how he got them?"
The woman didn't want to hear how he got them. She fled into the examining room and slammed the door. Dib turned to his enemy. "All right, alien scum, you win this round, but I will avenge those kids you killed, even if no one else cares about them."
Zim toddled home, satisfied with the way his spur-of-the-moment plan had worked. Dib's humiliation had been enjoyable. Dib left before the reporters arrived, but Zim was all too happy to give them the stink-beast's address. What a sad little sack of meat - even his own people despised him. With a triumphant smile, Zim walked into his house and stepped in front of the couch - the trapdoor underneath was the only one he could fit through.
"Computer!" he sloshed. "Take me to the medical bay."
"Voice not recognized," boomed the Computer.
Zim frowned. Maybe there was such a thing as too many organs. He tilted his head forward to spit some of them out, when something struck the back of his head. Stars burst in his vision, and he fell forward. He rolled over to see Dib raising a metal club over his head. Zim extended a PAK leg to block it. The flimsy leg didn't stop the blow to his face, but it did soften it. Zim whipped out his other PAK legs and backed into a defensive stance.
"Computer! Seize the intruder!"
"Voice not recognized."
The Dib-monkey advanced with his club at the ready, and Zim took out his tissue extractor.
"I'll get rid of you myself!" Zim leaned forward and extended the device toward Dib's head. The human swung his club and struck the bowl, knocking it clean off its metal arm.
Zim growled so loud it was almost a roar. "Do you know how long it takes to repair these!?" He drew back the arm and jabbed it at Dib's face, striking his glasses and cracking one of the lenses. "I wonder if this is sharp enough to pierce human flesh," said Zim, pulling his lips back in a grin. He thrust it at Dib, but the human dodged and pulled a small blade out of his coat.
"You mean like this?" asked Dib.
Zim sniggered. "Your puny knife doesn't have as much reach. Neither does your primitive club." He raised one of his PAK legs a few inches off the ground, anticipating his next move. Zim threw his metal arm at Dib, and when his enemy evaded he flung out his PAK leg where Dib stepped. The metal point glanced down his shin, tearing a gash through his pants and stabbing into his foot. Dib screamed as Zim pushed the PAK leg all the way through his foot, pinning him to the floor. Blood streamed down his leg and formed a puddle around his boot.
"I have you right where I want you, Dib-stink. It's over." He raised his metal arm to strike Dib's chest. The Earth creature grimaced and lightly shook the blade in his hand. He whipped it back and flung it forward, and it flew straight into Zim's neck. Zim gagged and gurgled as the blood and metal cut off his breath. His PAK legs collapsed; he sank in a heap on the floor.
'No,' he mouthed, pulling at the handle embedded in his bloated neck. 'I am Zim.' Then everything went dark.
Dib wrenched the spider-leg out of his foot, gasping in pain. He limped over to the heap of stolen organs encased in Zim's body. Was he dead? He wasn't breathing or moving. Dib slipped on his x-scope and saw that none of the organs was beating or pulsing. He drew a shaky breath and blew it out. He'd really done it. He'd won. Zim could never hurt anyone again. There would be time for celebrating later, but he still had work to do. Dib pulled the scalpel out of Zim's neck and wiped the handle on his coat, hoping that Zim had a big enough freezer to hold all the organs.
A/N: It took me eight years to realize that if meat burns Zim, the organs should have burned him in that episode. That was my initial inspiration for this fanfic. I didn't even think of the deaths until I was halfway through writing this.
Was the fight over too quickly? I struggle with writing fight scenes. Then again, a lot of real life fights are brief. What do you think?