Note: For the record, I do not write sequels for the sake of writing sequels, I only write them if I have an idea, even if it's just a scrap of an idea, that that's all this is at this point, a scrap of an idea. But so was Ayam when I first started writing, and then I couldn't stop writing until the first five chapters were written. So, I begin this sequel to Ayam with the main character, and probably the first time I have ever portrayed this canon Invader Zim character as NOT being the absolute villain. Sideos, I keep in mind what you said about inclusion of the other side while I write this. My thanks for the thought.

All is dark. All is silent. His mouth is open, screaming, but nothing is heard. His arms are flailing… or are they flailing? No motion is felt, no movement, no brush of skin against cloth, movement can't be discerned. There is not even a sense of self.

Light… tiny light flickers… it burns. It's reaching out toward him. He raises an arm… something is weighted on his arm… cold metal wrapped around his body. He can't move.

Bolting upright, Red gasped in a deep breath. For a moment, darkness blinded him, but his ocular implants adjusted to the darkness and he slumped back against his pillows. His eyes swept over his imperial chambers. From the luxurious king-sized bed draped in Roxbuyt's fur to the wardrobe carved from Hogulus bones and the massive entertainment system set on a table made of crystallized jewelbugs, every square inch of the room spoke of power. Conquest. Domination.

So why was he shivering in the dark like a smeet that had heard a forbidden ghost tale? Flinging back the furs, he pushes himself up. He always felt lighter without the armor that bent him almost double, but it was protocol that he wear it every waking moment. Without it, he was told, he would have no protection from enemy fire or other targeted attacks.

Moving to the wardrobe, he opened it, languidly pushing aside one garment after another. Red. Red. Red. Red. Maroon. Red. Scarlet. Red. Irk! How he hated the color. Couldn't the smeetery have been more unique with his name? Even the traitor Zim had at least had a decent name. Why did he have to be named after the color of his eyes?
Zim. His eyes narrowed as he selected a tunic and donned it. Now there was something he could do to calm his wits. Turning to the opposite wall, he crossed the room and pushed the intercom. "Drones, assemble my armor."

Within seconds, three drones trudged into his room, each bearing one of the three pieces of armor. Red stood straight as they extended spiderlegs from their PAKs to lift them to his level. They stumbled a little, staggering under the weight of the armor. He hissed scornfully at them, and they corrected themselves hastily, clamping on the metal. He felt his spine sag under the weight of the torso piece, and his shoulder sockets groan at the wristguards, but he clamped his mouth shut and nodded to the drones, who scampered off.

Reaching to his hoverbelt, he flipped it on and felt himself rise a few inches above the ground. When he was a smeet, he used to think the hoverbelt was stupid. Why hover when you could walk? But now he understood. How could you walk weighed down by almost 300 pounds of metal? Hovering was necessary for a Tallest to maintain their protection.

He opened his door and floated through, turning down the hall toward the new wing Purple had set up. The one designed to track down and incinerate that Irk forsaken piece of equipment Zim had set loose. He growled softly. What had started out as a joke on a sad, pathetic Irken had become a nightmare. That mad robot had covered a full quarter of the Irken empire in it's ridiculous game of "tag" that never ended, leaving a copy of the contents of its head in every location it stopped to refuel.

In every spot, loyal Irkens had reported changes in the behaviors of a few of their fellows. Those who actually took interest in the contents called themselves Krissirks, and started questioning the edicts of the Tallests, especially the ones that called for conquest and the extermination of other species. Worse than that were the reports that spoke of the changed attitude toward the Tallests.

According to secondhand information, the records given to these traitorous Irkens cast doubt on the Almighty Tallests' power and authority. They were not, it was implied, the highest authority, nor were they truly almighty as their title claimed. Treason, pure and simple. If their own army turned against them, then how could they hope to hold the planets they'd conquered? He had set Purple to work drafting up a declaration to combat this threat, and commissioned this new wing that tracked the robot's sporadic landings.

He floated into the room and glanced at the map. A new blue dot lit up the screen. His eyes narrowed. "I want three patrols sent to section 7-o-9, we've had a new report. This time, try luring it with snacks."

"Snacks, my Tallest?" A voice crackled through a speaker. "It's a robot, sir, they don't—"

"Are you questioning me?" Red snarled. "I built that robot and I've seen it on communications with Zim, that thing EATS. Now TRY IT."

"Yes, my Tallest."

He poked a claw at the glowing blue dot, pressing it hard against the screen. When we find you, we will pull you apart and incinerate you. He smirked. Then where will your treasonous message be?