Author's Notes: You are now entering another dimension, a dimension not just of sight and sound, but of mind. Presented for your consideration: a Miss Gazlene Membrane, age ten, who cares about video games, pizza and very little else, least of all her older brother Dib. She is used to treating others like dirt and expecting little in the way of retribution. But that attitude is about to change, because in a moment Gaz's relentless quest of her own desires is going to lead her to a kingdom where she is no longer queen...a place called The Karma Circle.


(Dimension A)

"Gaz! Gaz!"

The eleven-year-old boy jumped up the steps and burst through the front door, clutching a square device tightly to his chest. "Gaz! Guess what, Gaz? !"

"Uggghhh..."

His younger sister groaned from her usual place on the Membrane family couch, surrounded as always in a halo of darkness with a stony look on her face. One squinting eye shot opened and tore itself away from her Game Slave to stare at her idiotic brother, who was grinning excitedly and practically bouncing on the balls of his feet. She glared.

"...What?"

Dib apparently didn't hear the threat in her voice, however, because he actually kept grinning stupidly while triumphantly holding out the device he was carrying. "I came up with a great idea today! Do you remember that new Spell Drive the Swollen Eyeballs gave me last week, the one we used to get to the Shadowhog's dimension?"

Gaz's hands suddenly tightened around her Game Slave, and a tic went through her face that even Dib couldn't help but notice. He blanched as the room seemed to get darker and colder from the force of his sister's preternatural fury.

Dib chuckled softly and gave a weak, sheepish grin. "Heh...you're not still mad about that whole 'curse' thing, are you?"

Gaz didn't answer for a moment. Then suddenly her foot shot out, hitting the bottom of the Spell Drive and slamming it up into Dib's face.

"Agh!" Dib cried, stumbling back and massaging his suddenly-bruised jaw. "Ow..."

"Heh." Gaz gave a nasty little smirk as she turned her attention back to the video game clutched in her hands. Dib was lucky that was all she did to him, and he was especially lucky that he had managed to get the stupid curse lifted in time for Bloaty's new pizza special. Oh, if she had had to endure her beloved pizza tasting like disgusting pork because of that little bastard, she would have had to teach him a new definition of pain!

Gaz hoped that Dib would take the hint and go talk about his stupid plans to someone else, but after just a moment of pain he continued.

"Well, anyway...I'd used up all my own Power Points long before Zim ever showed up on this planet, so I never got to use any of the Spell Drives against him. But then I realized, this one still has Power Points left! So I went back to that hill where we left it—"

"I'm trying to play my game," Gaz growled, keeping her eyes down on the screen.

Dib frowned. "Gaz, this is important! The fate of the world might rest on this!"

"So?" Gaz's fingers continued to dance across the buttons as more and more vampire piggies swarmed at her character; she was close to the Nosporkatu now, she needed to concentrate...besides, who cared if Zim destroyed the world or not? He was probably too stupid to do it anyway…now that Tak chick, she had at least been a challenge…

"Most of the Spells on this Drive have to do with crossing into other dimensions," Dib said, half to himself and half to her, opening the Spell Drive and pacing back and forth as he read its contents. "I'm not sure what I can do with that, maybe transport Zim into some sort of world full of—mutant beavers or something..."

Gaz was so busy trying to not listen to Dib's rambling that she failed to jump over the bottomless pit in front of her, causing her character to fall to its doom. Both eyes suddenly shot open in shock at such an obvious mistake, horror filling her as her lives' counter went down from 28 to 27. Then her face twisted into a look of fury.

"DIIIIIIIIIIB!"

He blinked, looking up from his own mesmerizing screen. "What?" he asked, frowning confusedly.

Gaz only managed to shake with anger for a moment, then scream, "SECURI—"

Remembering Gaz's "toys," Dib let out a "Meep" and vanished into the kitchen so fast that he might have teleported.

Fortunately, Gaz seemed to call off her attack once he was out of sight, and after a moment's pause he sighed, leaning against the fridge and breathing heavily. "Man she's been in a bad mood lately," he muttered. He felt another twinge of regret for the Shadowhog fiasco—but then, he had gotten the curse removed already. How much longer was she going to hold a grudge?

Dib shook his head, trying to clear the thought from his mind as he sat down at the kitchen table and went back to examining the Spell Drive. "Well, I only have a few hundred Power Points left," he murmured, scrolling down the list of spells. "That's not enough to send Zim to any of the really bad dimensions—hmm, I wonder if—no, not enough for the Moose Room either," he grumbled. "That would have been some good comeback—"

"Shut up in there!"

Dib jumped slightly, turning towards the kitchen door. "How can you even hear me in here? I'm barely talking!"

"SECURI—"

"Alright, alright! Jeez, that's starting to get more annoying than scary," he whispered, rolling his eyes.

Dib went back to the list of spells, trying to find a world that he could send Zim to. Unfortunately, most of the worlds Dib would have liked to send him to—the Dimension of Horror, the Void of Agony, the World of A Thousand Burning Blades—cost at least a thousand Power Points to attain. At the bottom of the list were a group of far-cheaper spells, but Dib was having a harder time figuring them out. "This one says something about switching," Dib whispered. "'Interdimensional counterparts'...I wonder what—"

"I SAID SHUT UP IN THERE!"

Dib jumped again, then rolled his eyes, putting his hand to the side of his head and his elbow on the table. Or, rather, on the Spell Drive, accidentally hitting the CAST SPELL button.

Dib jumped much higher this time when the device started beeping, eyes going wide with horror—all that happened, however, was that a message came up: ERROR. SPELL REQUIRES TWO-DIMENSIONAL COUNTERPART ACTIVATION. PLEASE REACTIVATE WITH COMPATIBLE COUNTERPART.

"'Please reactivate'...what does that mean?" Dib wondered, scratching his head. "Ah, I'm gonna need one of my books to figure this out."

He got up and ran upstairs, passing by Gaz on the couch as he went. She glared sullenly at her game, growling slightly at the noise. She had finally managed to reach the stupid boss, now all she had to do was...

The game flashed a message, making Gaz's eyes go wide. What? No! Her batteries were almost dead! Stupid Dib! If he hadn't distracted her before, she would probably already be done by now! Why, she oughta...

She shook her head, banishing the thought from her mind for now. Batteries. She recalled that her own supply was empty—which rarely happened, but it was the day before Dad went shopping so they were low on everything...jumping off the couch, Gaz marched into the kitchen, throwing open the drawer where her father kept spare parts. An extra wrench, broken plasma converter, a few screws, a crumpled-up Nobel Prize nomination...Gaz growled, throwing everything out over her shoulder as she looked, then slammed the drawer and spun around on her heels. Damn it, if she lost her game because of Dib, she would pound his stupid giant head in until he finally learned to—

Then she spotted the Spell Drive still on the table. Her eyes narrowed even more than usual.

If Dib knew what was good for him, that thing better use double-A's.

Gaz marched across the room,stumbling for a moment—she nearly tripped over the broken plasma converter she had thrown, then growled, kicking it angrily against the fridge. Then she grabbed the Spell Drive and flipped it over, searching for a battery slot. As she shifted its position in order to examine it from all angles her fingers slipped and hit the CAST SPELL button, and unseen by her a new message flashed across the screen: COUNTERPARTS COMPATIBLE. SPELL ACTIVATING.

There was a flash, and suddenly Gaz's body twisted in pain. She dropped the machine, eyes going wide.

"Gaz!" Dib had just appeared in the doorway, jumping back with a look of panic on his face. "What did you—"

Gaz didn't hear the end of his statement, as another flash suddenly filled her vision before everything went momentarily black.


(Dimension B)

Meanwhile...

"Dib! Dib!"

The eleven-year-old girl jumped up the steps and burst through the front door, clutching a square device tightly to her chest. "Dib! Guess what, Dib? !"

"Uggghhh..."

Her older brother groaned from his usual place on the Membrane family couch, surrounded as always in a halo of darkness with a stony look on his face. One squinting eye shot opened and tore itself away from his Game Slave to stare at his idiotic sister, who was grinning excitedly and practically bouncing on the balls of her feet. He glared.

"...What?"

Gaz apparently didn't shear the threat in his voice, however, because she actually kept grinning stupidly while triumphantly holding out the device she was carrying. "I came up with a great idea today! Do you remember that new Spell Drive the Swollen Eyeballs gave me last week, the one we used to get to the Shadowsauce's dimension?"

Dib's hands suddenly tightened around his Game Slave, and a tic went through his face that even Gaz couldn't help but notice. She blanched as the room seemed to get darker and colder from the force of her brother's preternatural fury.

Gaz chuckled softly and gave a weak, sheepish grin. "Heh...you're not still mad about that whole 'curse' thing, are you?"

Dib didn't answer for a moment. Then suddenly his foot shot out, hitting the bottom of the Spell Drive and slamming it up into Gaz's face.

"Agh!" Gaz cried, stumbling back and massaging her suddenly-bruised jaw. "Ow..."

"Heh." Dib gave a nasty little smirk as he turned his attention back to the video game clutched in his hands. Gaz was lucky that was all he did to her, and she was especially lucky that she had managed to get the stupid curse lifted in time for Deelishus Weenie's new hot dog special. Oh, if he had had to endure his beloved weenies tasting like disgusting pizza because of that little bitch, he would have had to teach her a new definition of pain!

Dib hoped that Gaz would take the hint and go talk about her stupid plans to someone else, but after just a moment of pain she continued.

"Well, anyway...I'd used up all my own Power Points long before Tak ever showed up on this planet, so I never got to use any of the Spell Drives against her. But then I realized, this one still has Power Points left! So I went back to that hill where we left it—"

"I'm trying to play my game," Dib growled, keeping his eyes down on the screen.

Gaz frowned. "Dib, this is important! The fate of the world might rest on this!"

"So?" Dib's fingers continued to dance across the buttons as more and more zombie piggies swarmed at his character; he was close to the Necroporker now, he needed to concentrate...besides, who cared if Tak destroyed the world or not? She was probably too stupid to do it anyway…now that Zim guy, he had at least been a challenge…

"Most of the Spells on this Drive have to do with crossing into other dimensions," Gaz said, half to herself and half to him, opening the Spell Drive and pacing back and forth as she read its contents. "I'm not sure what I can do with that, maybe transport Tak into some sort of world full of—mutant badgers or something..."

Dib was so busy trying to not listen to Gaz's rambling that he failed to jump over the bottomless pit in front of him, causing his character to fall to its doom. Both eyes suddenly shot open in shock at such an obvious mistake, horror filling him as his lives' counter went down from 28 to 27. Then his face twisted into a look of fury.

"GAAAAAAAAAAZ!"

She blinked, looking up from her own mesmerizing screen. "What?" she asked, frowning confusedly.

Dib only managed to shake with anger for a moment, then scream, "SECURI—"

Remembering Dib's "toys," Gaz let out a "Meep" and vanished into the kitchen so fast that she might have teleported.

Fortunately, Dib seemed to call off his attack once she was out of sight, and after a moment's pause she sighed, leaning against the fridge and breathing heavily. "Man he's been in a bad mood lately," she muttered. She felt another twinge of regret for the Shadowsauce fiasco—but then, she had gotten the curse removed already. How much longer was he going to hold a grudge?

Gaz shook her head, trying to clear the thought from her mind as she sat down at the kitchen table and went back to examining the Spell Drive. "Well, I only have a few hundred Power Points left," she murmured, scrolling down the list of spells. "That's not enough to send Tak to any of the really bad dimensions—hmm, I wonder if—no, not enough for the Elk Room either," she grumbled. "That would have been some good comeback—"

"Shut up in there!"

Gaz jumped slightly, turning towards the kitchen door. "How can you even hear me in here? I'm barely talking!"

"SECURI—"

"Alright, alright! Jeez, that's starting to get more annoying than scary," she whispered, rolling her eyes.

Gaz went back to the list of spells, trying to find a world that she could send Tak to. Unfortunately, most of the worlds Gaz would have liked to send her to—the Dimension of Horror, the Void of Agony, the World of A Thousand Burning Blades—cost at least a thousand Power Points to attain. At the bottom of the list were a group of far-cheaper spells, but Gaz was having a harder time figuring them out. "This one says something about switching," Gaz whispered. "'Interdimensional counterparts'...I wonder what—"

"I SAID SHUT UP IN THERE!"

Gaz jumped again, then rolled her eyes, putting her hand to the side of her head and her elbow on the table. Or, rather, on the Spell Drive, accidentally hitting the CAST SPELL button.

Gaz jumped much higher this time when the device started beeping, eyes going wide with horror—all that happened, however, was that a message came up: ERROR. SPELL REQUIRES TWO-DIMENSIONAL COUNTERPART ACTIVATION. PLEASE REACTIVATE WITH COMPATIBLE COUNTERPART.

"'Please reactivate'...what does that mean?" Gaz wondered, scratching her shead. "Ah, I'm gonna need one of my books to figure this out."

She got up and ran upstairs, passing by Dib on the couch as she went. He glared sullenly at his game, growling slightly at the noise. He had finally managed to reach the stupid boss, now all he had to do was...

The game flashed a message, making Dib's eyes go wide. What? No! His batteries were almost dead! Stupid Gaz! If she hadn't distracted him before, he would probably already be done by now! Why, he oughta...

He shook his head, banishing the thought from his mind for now. Batteries. He recalled that his own supply was empty—which rarely happened, but it was the day before Mom went shopping so they were low on everything...jumping off the couch, Dib marched into the kitchen, throwing open the drawer where his mother kept spare parts. An extra wrench, broken plasma converter, a few screws, a crumpled-up Nobel Prize nomination...Dib growled, throwing everything out over his shoulder as he looked, then slammed the drawer and spun around on his heels. Damn it, if he lost his game because of Gaz, he would pound her stupid giant head in until she finally learned to—

Then he spotted the Spell Drive still on the table. His eyes narrowed even more than usual.

If Gaz knew what was good for her, that thing better use double-A's.

Dib marched across the room, stumbling for a moment—he nearly tripped over the broken plasma converter he had thrown, and as he grabbed the counter to steady himself his glasses fell onto the floor. He growled as he picked them up, fuming at the several extra seconds that he was losing on his batteries—several seconds that slowed him down compared to a certain girl in another universe, who was pressing a button on her world's Spell Drive just as this Dib straightened up with his glasses on his face.

And as that Gaz pressed the button on her world's Spell Drive that had already been pressed by this world's Gaz on her Spell Drive, the two machines were able to connect the counterparts across dimensions and activate their spell.

There was a beeping sound, then a flash, and Dib turned just as Gaz appeared in the doorway, her body inexplicably twisting in pain. Her eyes went wide.

"Dib!" she cried, as her brother quirked an eyebrow in confusion. "What did you—"

Dib didn't hear the end of her statement, as another flash suddenly filled his vision. When it cleared Gaz cried out and stumbled forward, gasping and coughing, grabbing the kitchen table for support.

"Agh—what the hell?" Gaz cried, gasping for breath. Her mind was spinning; she vaguely realized that she seemed to have jumped a few feet across the kitchen with no explanation, but that was the least of her concerns. She looked up through bleary eyes, spotting her stupid brother a few feet away. Her eyes narrowed in fury. "You!"

To Gaz's surprise, Dib didn't look at all sheepish or afraid; instead one of his eyes, narrowed in an uncharacteristic glare, jumped open, a sneer crossing his face. Nobody talked to him that way, least of all Gaz. "What? !" he snapped.

Rage filled through Gaz's entire body; how dare Dib respond to her in that tone? ! "What the hell did your stupid machine do to me? !" She stomped across the kitchen toward him with her hands balling into fists. Dib, not to be outdone, curled his hands into fists too, glaring down at her with a nearly identical girn.

"It's your stupid machine, idiot. How am I supposed to know?" Suddenly Dib's eyes flickered downward, freezing at something Gaz held in one fist. "Hey—"

"Agh!"

Gaz's mouth fell open in utter shock as Dib grabbed the Game Slave out of her hand, and then, inexplicably, held out an identical Game Slave that he had been holding, staring from one to the other. He looked confused, then glared down at her. "Where did you get one of these?"

Gaz was unable to answer for a moment, unable to think, unable to breathe, her mind consumed by one overwhelming, shocking thought—Dib. Was. Touching. Her. GAME! She let out a suddenly shriek and jumped at him, making his eyes go wide—he whirled his arm around and hit her, hard, the combined force of his hand and the game in it colliding into her cheek. She stumbled backwards, hitting the fridge (since when could Dib hit like that? !) Dib, meanwhile, was undergoing a reaction of shock not unlike Gaz's.

"What the hell did you just try to do, you little bitch? !"

Gaz's lip curled into a snarl, her entire body shaking with rage. "Give. Me. My. GAME!" she screamed, and the lights suddenly flickered as if they themselves were afraid.

To her surprise, though, Dib was not scared; he didn't immediately chuck the Game Slave at her in horror like she expected, didn't try to beg for forgiveness—instead his face twisted into a sadistic sort of sneer. "You want it so bad? Well, then maybe you should—"

Suddenly, both Game Slaves began to beep again. Gaz and Dib's eyes both widened as both screens flickered, and then, at the same moment, faded to nothingness.

The two both screamed at the exact same second.

"My game!"

The next thing Gaz knew she felt a huge force against her face, and she stumbled back, crashing into the fridge again. "You pathetic little idiot!" Dib screamed, throwing both Game Slaves down on the floor. "You made me lose my game!"

Gaz glared up at him, her lip twisting into a sneer. No one talked to her that way, and sure as hell nobody was going to hit her, especially not Dib, unless they wanted to be plunged into a world of pain.

She screamed again, sounding barely human in her berserker fury, and leaped at Dib, her fist connecting hard with his chest. He stumbled back and hit the kitchen counter, but suddenly his own fist spun around to slam into her shoulder, knocking Gaz to the floor. Dib looked apoplectic. "SECURITY!" he screamed, throwing back his head.

Gaz let out a humorless laugh. "Oh please. Do you really expect them to listen to...agh!"

She caught the look on Dib's face and turned, eyes snapping open in terror as she saw a collection of action figures march into the kitchen, their eyes glowing red, blades erupting out of their arms and legs. She stumbled backwards, horror on her face.

"I've trained them to feed on human flesh," Dib added, malicious delight evident in his voice.

Gaz tried to open her mouth, to scream for her own security bots (when had Dib gotten some too? !), but was too shocked to try until the robots had launched themselves at her, and then all she could do was scream.


(Dimension A)

"Gaz! Gaz!"

As the flash cleared Gaz stumbled forward, grabbing the kitchen table for support. She coughed and gasped as Dib ran over to her, cautiously pulling out a chair and helping her into it. "Are you okay? !"

For a moment Gaz only coughed in response, and Dib rushed over to the fridge to grab a can of soda. "Here, you want a drink?" he asked, popping the can open for her.

"Huh?" Gaz coughed one last time, then blinked, looking first at the soda in Dib's hand, then up at his face. "Um...thanks?" she said slowly, taking it from him. For a moment Dib found this odd but didn't know why, until he realized he had been subconsciously expecting her to snatch it angrily from him. Or to just smack him for letting his Spell Drive zap her somehow. He frowned.

"Are you okay? How do you feel?" he asked worriedly.

"Uh...fine, I guess?"

"You sure?"

"Yeah?" Gaz was giving him a weird look. In fact Gaz looked sort of weird in general—her eyes were wide open, for one, and her posture in general was...just strange. Less stiff and angry than usual.

Dib went over to the Spell Drive and began to examine it. Gaz stiffened a bit, but to her surprise Dib didn't seem to be trying to steal it or break it again—instead he just read for a moment, then shook his head. "Weird...I can't tell what happened. Are you sure you're okay?"

"Yeah, fine." Gaz looked around the kitchen—everything looked the same, she thought, it was as if she had just been inexplicably shocked. Except...hadn't she been standing in the doorway when it happened? Was all it did teleport her a couple of feet or something?

Gaz looked down at the soda in her hands. Dib had given it to her. He never gave her a soda, and since the Shadowsauce incident he had kept throwing absolute fits whenever Gaz tried to take any of them. She looked at him for a moment, wondering if he was going to snatch it back, but her brother was still too absorbed in the Spell Drive to care. She cautiously took a sip.

"Huh...well, whatever happened, it seemed to have used up almost all of the Power Points," Dib mumbled, closing it. "So much for using it on Zim."

"You mean Tak," Gaz corrected.

Dib blinked. "Huh?"

Suddenly, two identical sets of beeps filled the room. Both siblings gasped, looking at their watches with wide eyes. "Mysterious Mysteries is about to start!" they cried in unison.

Dib blinked. "You want to watch Mysterious Mysteries today?" he blurted.

"Yeah, of course!" Gaz said. She looked at him oddly again. "You mean you want to watch it too?"

"Yeah..." He paused, half-expecting this to be some sort of a set-up; he usually had to fight her tooth-and-nail lately to watch his shows, and lost nine times out of ten. When Gaz just kept staring at him, apparently as shocked as he was, he cautiously asked, "Want to watch it together?"

"Um...sure!" Gaz said, and smiled. Smiled, an actual smile that wasn't nasty or sneaky or anything. It actually made Gaz's face look cheerful—Dib couldn't help but smile back, to Gaz's own similar shock.

A few minutes later the two were sitting together on the couch, watching a report about the rare literature-eating sparkly chupacabra, occasionally shooting each other comments or even jokes about the show. As Dib chuckled at something Gaz had just said (the very same thing he had been thinking, too!) he wondered vaguely about why she was acting so...friendly all of a sudden. He should probably be worried—maybe whatever she had activated on the Spell Drive had put her into psychological shock or something? But then he glanced at her, smiling happily at Mysterious Mysteries (she actually looked like a kid for once!) and he decided not to press the issue.

I don't know what's going on, Dib thought, smiling as he turned back to the show, but I think I could get used to this.


(Dimension B)

Dib snickered to himself, kicking his feet up on the coffee table as he chugged down the last of his Pee Cola, then called, "Oh, Gaz?"

His little sister—standing off to the side (she had been forbidden to sit down), bruised and burnt, positively shaking with impotent rage—growled in response.

"Get me another soda," Dib said, crushing the can in his hand and throwing it onto the floor.

Gaz hissed, raising her fists—and instantly the action figures perched on the couch, chair and table all spun around to face her, eyes glowing red again and blades emerging from their bodies. Gaz froze.

"Well Gaz?"

"...Fine."

"What was that?" Dib growled, and as if sensing his anger, the robots' eyes and blades only turned darker and more threatening.

"...Fine, sir!" he said through gritted teeth, fury consuming every syllable. She turned and stormed into the kitchen, emitting a low, throaty growl that barely suppressed a scream.

As Dib chuckled at Gaz's humiliation, he wondered vaguely about why she was acting so...independent all of a sudden. He should probably be worried—he didn't like the thought of her trying to stand up to him. But then he glanced at her, trembling in indignation as she practically threw the soda into his hands and decided not to press the issue. He sort of liked the challenge—it was actually more fun than her just accepting her place like she was supposed to.

I don't know what's going on, Dib thought, smirking as he watched her silently rage out of the corner of his eye, but I think I could get used to this.


A/N: Anger and selfishness are dangerous forces, forces that can turn potential happiness into a living hell. Let it be a lesson to those who would show cruelty to others to keep in mind the risk of your own actions coming back at you, because in the end you're liable to wind up with just the kinds of people that you deserve. Justice always prevails, at least here in The Karma Circle.