By Swing-21 (Thanks to my sis, The Pink Terror, for helping me find a plot good enough to make a sequel.)
Summary : The Uprising approaches. Somehow, Dib and Zim get tangled in the first revolution the Irken Empire has known. Sequel to The Human Kribliss. ZADR. Epicness.
AN: I know it's been forever and a day, but there it is. The first chapter of the Uprising, sequel to the Human Kribliss. If you haven't read it yet, do it LIEK NAOW. Seriously. Or you won't understand a thing. Also, I don't have a beta nor do I have the time to find one and proofread this (I am a very busy girl). I did my best with language, syntax and typos, but you lot know English is kinda my third language so I mess up once in a while. I still do my best :)
AN2: I hate sequels. I never do sequels. Except for now, it seems.
Chapter 1- The Nightmare begins
The Massive was a ship worthy of its name. There was no bigger and deadlier ship in all the Irken Armada. If one takes into consideration that the Irken Empire was the most powerful Empire in the known Universe (and very little of the Universe was unknown to this day), and that the most powerful Empire needed the most impressive ship to lead its incredibly impressive and dangerous fleet, one could come to the conclusion that the Massive was one hell of a spaceship. Some compared it to a city that never slept, some others to a whole country. The truth was that the Massive was a planet in itself, and within its metallic innards laid the true power of the Irken Empire (most powerful of all the known Universe, which is an established fact at this point.)
Thousand of Irkens worked, played and lived in the corridors of the Massive, most of them never touching a planet's soil after their hatching day. They came in all shapes of antennas, colors of eyes and shades of green, and to the Irken Empire, details as foolish as these didn't really matter. It would be stupid to judge an individual's capacity on something as superficial as how their antennas were shaped and anyone trying to do so would be ostracized, after being heartily laughed at with pointed fingers.
Of course, every Irken and their mother (or cold unfeeling robot arm) knows that the only way to establish an efficient social order is by height. It is simple: taller Irkens got better jobs, and smaller ones would be stuck cleaning floors or doing customer service in Foodcourtia. It was based on a millennia-long tradition, coming from the dark ages when Irkens still lived on their home planet. Irk had a very strong gravity, and only the strongest individuals could grow up to stand tall above the rest. They kept the heightocraty even after they managed to conquer space and gravity could be changed with the press of a simple button.
If you've read this far, you should already know about the Tallests, leaders of the Irken Empire, and how much of a pair of jerks they can be. And because this is, in fact, a sequel, every single one of you, faithful readers, should know about their little habit of getting rid of tall Irkens, menace to their positions, by sending them in the far corners of the Universe on extremely dangerous missions.
But you already know all the events precedent to this, and how Zim and Dib got somewhat tangled into it all, as only them can manage to do so. Well, faithful readers, if you enjoyed their anguish and suffering, you'll be pleased to learn that this was only the beginning. Because the events related to Zim and Dib and how they are connected to each other are just a tiny grain of sand in the vast Universe. Somehow, that grain of sand got stuck in the well-oiled Irken machinery and provoked something far, far bigger than anything they could ever expect… Zim would take all the credit afterwards, but he has currently no idea what his actions provoked. All this will come in due time. Trust me, faithful readers, we're in for a mean ride.
So take my hand, as I lead you in the innumerable metallic corridors of the Massive, and we enter a vast lounging area. Reclining chairs and most comfortable couches were scattered in some semblance of order. Tables came when called, because they were held by puny Irkens trying to precariously balance drinks and snacks on their heads. Right now, they tried to avoid getting hit by one of the many flying cushions going through the room.
Yes, Tallest Purple was throwing a fit. He relieved stress by throwing cushions. It was better than Tallest Red, who relieved stress by throwing service drones. Out airlocks.
'Red, I can't take it anymore!' whined the Tallest for the umpteenth time that hour. 'Since that horrible broadcast, everyone is acting dodgy around us, waiting to see if we make a mistake! The Control Brains are watching us constantly! I can't even scratch my nose without them making a note of it!'
'You don't have a nose,' snapped Red.
'That's not the point! You don't get it! This morning, a janitor drone talked back to me! To ME, Red! The Tallest!'
'And now he's cleaning the insides of a flying spaghetti monster's digestive system,' growled Red with impatience. 'We took care of that, we made an example out of that impertinent. So there's no need of-'
'ENOUGH!' shouted Red.
Purple stopped in mid-stride, his eyes opened huge and his antennas lowered. He looked like a kicked orphan puppy under the rain.
Red sighed, stood up and walked to his co-Tallest. He lightly caressed Purple's cheek with a pointy claw and muttered:
'Sorry about that. I'm just as stressed as you are, with the Big Update and all…'
To be fair to both Tallests, the Big Update was a worthy source of stress. They had acquired planet Meekrob some time ago and wanted to use their more advanced technology to replace the one they stole from the Vortians. But as it happens often when you deal with technology, and this, most humans already know, is that nothing goes as smoothly as expected. Ever.
They currently had lost all kind of contact with the home planet or any other in the Irken network. A great amount of electrical circuits inside the Massive itself completely refused the change of energy and decided to fry and be generally useless. Most of their weaponry was down and the teleporters worked only once in a while. All of the ship's population was appointed to repairs and working more than thirty-five hours a day, as opposed to the regular thirty they were used to. Regenerating goo tubes (the ones that still worked, at least) were overcrowded, and one had to wait in line for hours to get the chance to get a five minutes rejuvenating sleep. And that was when a taller Irken didn't cut the line to get in there first, as their height allowed them too. Needless to say, the Massive's population, including the Tallest, were tired, snappish and generally in a bad mood.
It would be the perfect moment to attack the ship, if one was into that sort of thing. Sadly for the ones expecting a triumphant return of the Resisty, they won't jump on that occasion for the mere fact that they were currently stuck in a deserted planet, without fuel and with a broken engine, fleeing a flock of giant carnivorous running petunias. But that is material for another story, one that I'll probably leave to your collective imaginations.
Coming back to the lounging area, Purple had resumed his cushion-throwing and extreme ranting mode. Red had gone back to his reclining chair, trying to ignore the whining. He let him go at it, making a mental note to lower his sugar intake.
'This is all Zim's fault,' he suddenly stated.
'YEAH!' shouted Purple at once. 'Let's blame Zim! I like blaming Zim!'
He stopped suddenly and narrowed a violet eye.
'…Wait,' he said. 'I know we always blame Zim, and with good reason, but I don't get your logic. Even if we stretch it a lot, he can't be responsible for the Big Update problems if he hasn't left Earth for months!'
'Think about it for a moment,' growled Red. 'All this started since he came waltzing in here to get his monkey-pet back. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have been ridiculed on every screen of the galaxy and we'd still have some authority on this ship!'
'Oh, now I get it!' said Purple with a renewed smile. 'Yeah! Let's blame Zim!
'I just wish we could have a way to get a good juicy revenge,' grunted Red. 'Something that would hurt him good… something we could broadcast so our people see that we're not scared of him…'
'What about his pet-monkey? It was easy enough to capture the first time, and Zim would come waltzing in to save him like last time and… FORGET I SAID ANYTHING! I DON'T WANT ZIM TO COME HERE!'
'No, wait! It's a great idea!'
'Yes! We capture the human, taunt Zim, prepare all the troops for his coming, capture him and make him watch as we torture and slowly kill his human! And then, when he tries to attack one of us, the other can kill him without consequences, according to the rules!'
'If he attacks you, I can kill him because you're my Kribliss,' explained Red with an evil smile.
'Or vice-versa,' added Purple. 'Why would I be the one attacked?'
'It was just an example,' mumbled Red. 'So, do you like my plan?'
'I LOVE IT! I can't wait to start! Go ahead, prepare the troops! Let's go kidnap the human!'
A moment of silence passed between them, and then their smiles dropped.
'Heh, can't hurt to dream,' snickered Red.
'It would be so great…' sighed Purple with a dreamy smile.
'But impossible, sadly. We can't put a claw out of line, the ship is half-down, the troops are busy with the repairs, and we are just not ready for anything that would include Zim.'
'But it always can be postponed,' mused Purple out loud. 'I'll make a note in my pak.'
'To-do list: Make Zim cry like a little newly hatched smeet,' snickered Red.
Now that Tallest Purple had finished throwing cushions, most table drones were busy placing them back on their respective couches. Some others picked up discarded snacks and hurried outside to get some more before one of their leaders got a good case of the munchies. These coming and goings generally went unnoticed by taller Irkens, as how it should be in any good heightocracy.
The small drones who exited the room walked towards the snacking storage. They didn't notice one of them, ridiculously small, slip out and walk in an adjacent corridor, one that didn't lead to the storage area at all. The drone walked for a good ten minutes before arriving at a single anonymous door, looking like any other metallic door.
'It's me,' he whispered.
The door opened just enough to let him enter and closed immediately after. The room was barely lit, he could only distinguish the vague silhouette of a taller female standing in front of him.
'Were you followed?' she asked as a welcome.
'No,' answered the tiny drone, removing the table from his head and stretching a bit. 'I've made sure of it.'
'Then what do you got to say? You know it's dangerous, coming here!'
'Oh, I've got something good,' he smirked.
A screen came out of his pak and displayed both Tallests in their lounge. The taller female watched the scene with rapt attention, her razor sharp teeth showing in a creepy smile when she heard a sentence:
"Yes! We capture the human, taunt Zim, prepare all the troops for his coming, capture him and make him watch as we torture and slowly kill his human! And then, when he tries to attack one of us, the other can kill him without consequences, according to the rules!"
'This is good,' she snickered. 'Oh so good. We can do wonders with that.'
'I knew you would like it,' agreed the drone.
'The Almighty Smallest will find a way to use this…'
The drone flinched at that, but made no commentary beside a showing of his own teeth. Suddenly, his pak beeped and from it came the imperious voice of Tallest Purple:
'Table-headed service-drone Bob! Get me some nachos while you're in storage and HURRY UP!'
'Yes, my Tallest, right now, my Tallest,' said Bob through gritted teeth, before the connection went dead. He shot a nasty glare at the female.
'Be glad I accepted to go back to that humiliating work.'
'You know you're doing it for the cause. You, more than anyone else, should be happy to help.'
'Yes, I know, I know. Now see ya, I have a shipment of nachos to bring to that insufferable idiot.'
He handed her the recording chip and walked out of the room. She inserted it inside one of the monitors and watched the scene unfold once again.
'With some editing, this can become a powerful weapon…' she mused.
Tak's mad cackling reverberated in the silent room.
We now leave this shady shadowed meeting of pure foreshadowing and get transported some light-years away, to a tiny planet of blues, browns and greens, populated by the most egocentric, ignorant and self-destructive species of the galaxy. Although, they were also the creators of chocolate, so they couldn't be all that bad.
In the middle of a nameless city stood a nameless Hi Skool, full of greasy, ugly and dumb teenagers like only Hi Skools can contain. Most of them were glad to live their little superficial lives full of fashion do-s-and-don't-s, mean rumors and primitive mating rituals. But their monotony was broken, once again that morning, by shrieks and yells.
In any other educational center of the planet, sudden shrieks and yells would probably mean the appearance of a crazy shooter and most people would hide or run. But in this misspelled Hi Skool, it only got groans and many rolling of eyes.
People in the corridor moved away, not even caring enough to lift their eyes to see what the commotion was about. Unsurprisingly, a cackling green blur passed by them, followed some moments later by a black one. The teenagers soon resumed their previous activities of lipstick-debating and dork-wedgying.
But I'm sure you'd rather follow the two previously mentioned blurs.
'ZIM!' shouted the pursuer. 'HAND IT BACK!'
'NEVER! ZIM WILL NEVER GIVE IT BACK!'
Dib growled between his teeth and accelerated. He followed closely from a corridor to another, through the gym, on the cafeteria tables, in the biology classroom. Zim kept evading him at a steady pace, making sure to never completely loose the human. His mad laughing was reverberated by the dull walls, but was soon drowned by the resounding end-of-lunch bell.
'Zim, come on! You're gonna make us late again!'
'HA! Are you giving up, foolish-hyuuuuuman?' taunted the Invader, going through a door.
Dib hesitated a moment, seeing it was the girls bathroom. But the bell had already rung and there was no one else in the corridors besides them. And it was his chance of cornering Zim and getting back his backpack.
He found the alien near the end of the room, waiting for him. A couple of months ago, Dib would have concluded that Zim hadn't thought ahead and had gotten caught in a dead-end, but now he knew better. The alien wanted to get caught.
'Zim, give me my backpack,' ordered Dib in a stern voice.
'You don't scare me, puny hyuman,' snickered Zim. 'Zim will do as he pleases!'
And he opened the main zipper to peer inside. Dib's face went pale.
'Zim, I'm serious! Hand it back!'
'Not before I see what you've been hiding since this morning!' replied the Invader, going through Dib's stuff.
He pulled out a biology textbook, some notebooks covered in scribbles, a pencil case, a pair of alien sleep-cuffs, a digital camera and a laser gun, all items normally found in Dib's belongings. He hid bigger and more dangerous weapons in his locker, and got away with it because they looked like silly human toys to the Hi Skool authorities.
'Ha HA!' shouted Zim, extracting a white envelope from one of the bag's smaller pockets. Dib's face instantly got even paler, if that was possible.
'Zim,' he said in all seriousness. 'Give it back. It's mine.'
'And YOU, Dib-thing, are mine. Which makes everything you own, MINE!'
But it was too late, Zim had already opened the envelope and proceeded to read aloud.
'"Dear Dib…" By Irk, what an atrocious handwriting, it's even girlier than yours, Dib-pet. "…I have to confess that I secretly loved you for years…" What in the Tallest's name…? "…handsome, gorgeous, brave, dedicated…" what was she ON? "…will you go to the prom with me?" … WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?'
He brandished the letter at Dib's face, furiously waiting for an explanation.
'Err, I found it this morning in my locker,' admitted the teenager. 'It's from Gretchen –'
'I KNOW HOW TO READ YOUR LANGUAGE, STOOPID MONKEY!'
'Zim, you know how all the girls are going crazy about this prom thing! They ask every boy they meet so they won't have to go alone! It means nothing!'
'THEN WHY DO YOU STILL HAVE THIS LETTER WITH YOU?'
'I didn't have the time to throw it away!'
To be honest, Dib had kept the letter because, despite the fact that every single boy in Hi Skool had been asked already, no one had dared ask HIM, the paranormal freak. It was soothing, in a way, to be the object's of a girl's crush, even if nothing would come of it. But try to explain that to his furious alien lover.
'I don't know why you make such a big fuss out of this,' groaned Dib. 'I didn't complain when Keef asked you!'
'Because I didn't wait a second before pushing him into a locker with the biology class pet!'
He stopped ranting for a moment, recalling Keef's horrified screams with a happy smile. The biology class pet was a snake, after all. But don't worry, Keef is tougher than that, he escaped that predicament with only a couple of stitches and some weeks of therapy.
'Zim, I won't even go to the prom,' snapped Dib. 'It's superficial, and stupid, and I don't need another occasion to be ridiculed! So no need to be jealous!'
'This has NOTHING to do with jelly!' growled the Invader. 'These humans have to understand that you belong to me and NO ONE ELSE!'
'I think I got the message by now,' growled Dib. 'But don't forget that this works the other way around, too!'
Zim pressed a hand to the back of his neck, narrowing his eyes. He couldn't feel the tattoo, but knew perfectly its shape and its meaning. The black Irken symbol, with a round bar code in its center. Anyone taking the time to scan it would know that Zim was now considered Dib's Kribliss. It was a couple of weeks old, done in a moment of cavity-inducing sappiness that none recalled too fondly.
'Regretting your decision?' asked Dib in a hard voice. 'Too bad, you know these things are permanent.'
'There is nothing that forces YOU to keep with it! There is no encoding in your pak that states so!'
'I don't need a pak for that! It's something that I chose to honor! If you get stuck keeping me and protecting me till I die, I don't see why it wouldn't be the same the other way around!'
'Zim doesn't need your protection!'
'You just don't get it!' shouted Dib, pulling his hair in pure frustration.
'What is there to get? You humans constantly talk in riddles! Stop trying to confuse me!'
'I'm not trying to confuse you, idiot, I'm trying to say-'
'DON'T CALL ZIM AN IDIOT!'
'I'll call you whatever I want, fucking moron! You don't listen-'
He did see the claws coming his way, but didn't have the time to move. He snapped his head back, his cheek stinging from the blow. His furious eyes met Zim's challenging ones.
His body took immediately over. Punching back was a deep honed reflex, and soon, Zim was stepping back several feet, a satisfied smirk on his green features.
'Not bad, human.'
And then he jumped in the air, claws extended. Dib sidestepped him, caught a wrist, twisted it behind the alien's back and pressed him against the nearest wall. Zim's face hit the ceramic with a loud yell.
'Unhand me at one, smelly meat-bag!' he shouted.
'Yeah right, I know you like it,' stated Dib right above the wig. He knew the antennas were just under it. 'I know you're all turned-on by now, and that you want me to screw the lights out of you…'
Zim's shudder was hidden by a half-hearted struggle.
'Don't flatter yourself,' groaned the alien.
'I know you want it, you've wanted it all day long. That's why you kept picking fights, why you stole my backpack, that's why you're not using your spider legs right now…'
'I had to! You didn't come to my base yesterday, or the day before,' snapped Zim.
'I told you I had to study.'
'Foolishness! Soon this stoo-pid Hi Skool thing will be over and you'll be able to spend all days and night entertaining Zim like a good little human pet!'
'I am not your pet,' growled Dib. 'You are mine.'
And then, he licked the tattoo at the back of Zim's neck, to better establish his claim. Zim hid his gasp under a hiss, trying to keep the angry façade. But the more Dib kissed the back of his neck, and the more he painfully pulled his arm behind his back, the more Zim wanted nothing more than to do it right here, right now. He first had planned to bring the Dib back to his base by force, but suddenly, the girl's bathroom didn't seem that disgusting anymore.
Until, of course, a girl entered said bathroom.
'EEEEEW! GROSS!' she shouted with a revolted grimace. 'What do you think you're doing here, both of you?'
Dib lifted his head at once, to discover an horrified Zita in the entrance.
'Err… I know it doesn't seem like it, but we're actually fighting…' he said lamely.
Zim was not so forgiving. He had just lost a really good foreplay sequence.
'We were engaging in kinky sado-masochistic preliminaries of hyuman mating,' he spat. 'And you interrupted us. Now go away.'
'No way, this is my bathroom!' she shouted back. 'I don't care what you freaks do, just do it someplace else!'
To Zim's displeasure, Dib let go of his arm and walked away to pick up the discarded items of his backpack. Zim hissed in Zita's direction, not forgiving her for breaking the oh so delicious moment. She snorted and waited for them to exit before slamming the door after them. Though Zim could have sworn he heard her mutter "…would be so hotter if any of them were cute, but no, the only gay boys here HAD to be the freak show…" under her breath.
'Want to find a broom storage unit?' asked Zim with some hope. 'The janitor drone is afraid to open the door without knocking, after the last time.'
'No, I'm not in the mood for broom closets,' answered Dib with a faraway look.
'Or maybe the medical area, they do have beds.'
'I'm not staying in Skool…'
'The base! Excellent idea! Let's not go to that boring biology class and study human anatomy where we won't be bothered by anyone! I'll give GIR some monies so he can go watch a movie and leave us alone!'
'Zim, I'm going home. To my home.'
'But your sister-unit hates it when we do it in your room. I DO NOT want to be drenched in cold water in the middle of a smooching session!'
'Gaz probably didn't know it would cause you so much pain…'
'Lies! She knows! And I refuse to go to your puny hyuman house and risk another acid-bath!'
'Which is perfect, because I'm heading over there alone,' snapped Dib. 'I have to study, and if I'm about to ditch some classes, might as well get some work done.'
'What? You don't want some Zim-loving?' asked the Invader, trying to hide his dejected voice.
'Not today, Zim. I'm busy as hell, and I don't have your computer memory to store data. I want to score perfect on the finals.'
'FINE! Go do your stoo-pid STUDYING and forget about any kind of sexy Zim-loving until you don't come back CRAWLING to beg me for more!'
Dib stopped and turned around, his eyes unreadable. He watched Zim for a moment, then sighed.
'I'm sorry, Zim,' he muttered. 'But I have to go. I'm really… busy.'
Zim watched him walk away with narrowed eyes. He hated that feeling Dib could sometimes provoke, as if his squeedly-spooch was suddenly tied in a knot.
Dib managed to exit the Skool without turning around once. He hated to do that to his Invader, but things were complicated. At least he had managed to distract Zim enough so the Invader wouldn't find the other letter, the one that started like this…:
"Mister Dib Membrane, the Huston Academy is glad to announce that you've been selected to study in our Astrophysics program, starting next September…"
Now, we leave Earth once again to travel through the endlessness of space. Somewhere near the Andromeda Galaxy, a metallic blue ship was slowly drifting among the stars. Its engines were shut off, so it was only propelled by the laws of physics. On one of its sides was a bright green inscription in Irken letters that, when translated, read "The Squeaky".
On the bridge, the only people that could be found were the tall Diplomat Blo, of blue eyes, straight antennas and solemn expression. He was dressed in long blue robes indicating his stature. He was currently engaged in something that looked like a chess game with Miik, the small pilot with eyes of even darker blue and curly antennas.
'Your turn,' muttered the female pilot after moving a piece.
Blo made his move and ended the game by doing so. Miik gritted her teeth, but lowered her head in a slow move, conceding defeat. She stood up and walked back to her piloting chair. A moment later, angry music was blaring from the speakers installed near her antennas.
The door opened and the Captain walked in with a resolute stride. She shot a rapid glance at the sulking form of Miik, then turned her red-blood eyes towards the Diplomat. Her antennas fell over her eyes like two sharp blades, indicating her bad mood.
'Any changes?' she asked in a tone that meant business.
Blo shook his head, designating the playing board and the sulking pilot. Taty joined her and placed a hand on the headrest.
'Smeetie?' she muttered in a concerned voice. 'How are you feeling?'
Miik just shrugged and kept her eyes on the starry view through the windshield. Taty placed a hand on her head, slightly brushing her antennas in a comforting manner.
'Don't worry, little one, we hope the effects will wear off in a couple of hours and you'll be back to your normal self soon. You just need to be patient.'
Miik didn't answer, lost in the stars and in the lyrics of her song. At that moment, the door swished open once again, and a table crawled in. In fact, the table was strapped to an Irken's pak, and said Irken was crawling on the floor with lowered wiggly antennas.
'Captain… can I-' asked the table in a little high-pitched voice.
'No,' resolutely cut the Captain.
'But Captain, my back is sore, I just want to stretch a little bit and-'
'I said NO!' snapped the Captain. 'Your punishment for blowing up half the lab was of stopping all experimentations altogether. But you disobeyed and insisted on trying your new sedative on Miik!'
'She was the perfect test subject! She reacted so well to the first one that I thought…'
'Look at her!' shouted the Captain, pointing the huddled pilot on the chair. 'She's not herself! She hasn't shouted at anyone for DAYS!'
'Captain, please, calm down-'
'I WILL NOT CALM DOWN!' she yelled. 'My pilot seems on the verge of taking off her own pak, by your fault might I add, and the medical area is under repairs, by your fault too! There is no way we can contact the Massive's medical experts, because all communications are down! We don't know what our next mission is and we don't know where to go because we don't have access to the database! No, I WILL NOT CALM DOWN! So you can get used to walk on all fours, because you'll remain a table until I feel like reinstating you as a scientist!'
The Captain pulled Miik to her feet and directed her through the door, sending a resentful and nasty glare towards the table. It cowered and whimpered.
After the door closed after them, the scientist lowered her head and pouted.
'How many times will I have to say sorry?' she whined in Blo's direction. 'I didn't plan for the lab to explode! My equipment was acting funny since the change of technology, and my main computer overheated! And for what happened to Miik, I wanted to prepare a calming solution so she wouldn't be so… so herself all the time! I wanted to help, I swear!'
Blo watched her for a moment, and motioned for her to stand up.
'…You mean it?' she asked in her unnaturally high voice. 'You won't tell the Captain?'
At Blo's negative, she stood slowly and stretched. All the bones of her back could be heard cracking, one by one.
'Irk, that feels good!' she moaned. 'It's been three days and I'm tired of crouching in corners and carrying drinks!'
She went to sit in front of Blo and watched the finished game of galactic chess.
'…Were you playing against Miik?' she asked. 'And she lost? And the pieces are still there instead of scattered all over the floor? By the Tallest, now I'm really feeling guilty! This isn't like Miik at all!'
Blo watched her with an interested expression, but said nothing, as usual. He let Kinn have a full go at her monologue.
'Ooooh, I'm just so stupid sometimes,' she wailed. 'Usually things don't go so wrong, but I'm just so BORED! Since we had all that trouble with the Tallest, they never send us on interesting missions because they don't want you to get hurt so you don't blackmail them, but the planets they send us to explore are only made of rocks! One had some mushrooms on it, but they weren't even poisonous! I have nothing to do! I've re-read all the Earthian magazines Dib scanned for me and now I can't communicate with Earth because of the Updating mess! I need to know how to coordinate handbags and shoes and what are this season colors!'
Blo only lifted an inquisitive antenna, probably wondering why someone would go through the trouble of coordinating such accessories, but he let her talk.
'And I can't even have access to what's left of my equipment and tools, because the Captain changed my encoding too and the door won't let me in! My pak really says I'm a table! Not even a service drone, a TABLE!' she shrieked.
Blo placed an understanding hand on her shoulder, and her hyperventilating slowed gradually. She lifted her huge orange eyes and smiled tentatively.
'Thank you, you always know what to say to make people feel better,' she said.
She then turned around and threw a look at the empty room.
'Where is Bass?' she asked. 'I haven't seen him in a while, he's usually here, taking care or Priscilla…'
Blo shrugged. To be fair to the readers, Priscilla is neither another new character, because we really don't need more of these, nor it is a pet or a plant. It was Bass' bigger and most powerful plasma gun. The thing was actually bigger than the diminutive soldier, and he doted on it like a devoted lover.
Bass –and Priscilla- were some levels down, in the soldier's small quarters, a spartan room with only a bed and some consoles on the wall. He was facing a screen and listening attentively to the pink-eyed Irken talking there.
'Do not worry, soldier Bass,' said the pink-eyed one. 'This connection is protected. We have people working on the inside that make sure that only our communications go through.'
'You're well organized,' commented the soldier.
'Heh, I know,' smiled the other one. 'It took a lot of time, but we found an impressive amount of Irkens interested to fight for the cause.'
'And you want me to join?'
'Your abilities would be a great asset.'
'I'm tempted. But we're currently drifting in the middle of nowhere and our teleporters are down. Also, our pilot is small enough to join, but she's in a precarious condition right now, and not up to piloting. We can't turn the ship around without her, and she won't act without the Captain's consent.'
'Hm… You work under Captain Taty, am I right?'
'She was among all of you during Zim's trial, if I recall correctly. She may not be totally adverse to the cause…'
'There's always a chance, I'll try to convince her.'
'Good chance, Irken Bass. Your help in the Uprising will be remembered when the new era comes.'
'Heh, I hope so. But…I just have a question,' hesitated Bass. 'I… heard things. From people. They talk about someone, a fearsome leader that would bring them freedom and equality… Are you him? Are you the one they call the Almighty Smallest?'
The other Irken scratched the back of his head, laughing in embarrassment.
'Aw, that's just a silly nickname I can't get rid of,' he said bashfully. 'No need to take out the big titles…'
'If you're him… If you're everything they say, then…'
Bass stood to full height and saluted the fat Irken respectfully.
'It will be an honor fighting for you and the cause, Invader Skoodge.'
AN: *smirk* Hand on to your antennas, people, we're in for a mean ride.