Part III

Fun in the Parks

The hot Florida sun came pouring in the windows of the Hotel Rooms. In the "Temp. Lab", Dib fumbled for his glasses as he sat up. Gaz was already awake, dressed in a black tank-top and shorts. Instead of her usual leggings, she wore fish-net stockings and big clunky black boots. She was sitting on the edge of the bed, playing her GS2.

Professor Membrane came in from his bed room to see if they were up. He too was dressed differently, in a Hawaiian shirt with a collar buttoned so high, his face still wasn't visible and dark sunglasses instead of his lab goggles. "Oh, good! You're awake!" he said, "Hurry up, now. We've got lots to do!" Then he left the room as quickly as he had come in.

Dib and Gaz looked at each other, shrugged, then hurried to get ready.

Across the hall, Zim was still sleeping soundly, curled up in the king sized bed. The night before, he had put up a fit about the Hotel not having any decent sleeping chambers, but he'd found the bed surprisingly comfy. And G.I.R. had claimed the kitchen table for himself, stealing a pillow off the bed once Zim had fallen asleep.

Now G.I.R. was creeping up on his master, as quiet as he could be. He stood next to the bed, jumped in the air and shouted "GOOD MORNING!!!!!!!!!" as loud as he could.

Zim's eyes shot open, and he bolted upright, screaming as G.I.R. landed on the bed beside him. "Oh, it's just you," he said, "I didn't ask for a wake-up call, G.I.R."

G.I.R. just smiled at him. "Dib and Gaz and their Dad already left," he said.

"What?? So soon?? Curses!" Zim cried, jumping out of bed, "Quickly! We've got to catch up with them before they're too far to track!" He grabbed his disguise and raced out the door, with G.I.R. following after. A few seconds later, they reentered, Zim pushing G.I.R. back inside. He shut the door, stuffed G.I.R. into his disguise and they headed out once more.

* * *

As they entered the Magic Kingdom, Dib was glad he had decided to wear his blue, short-sleeved T-shirt with the gray non-smiley face and black shorts, rather than his usual trench coat get-up. If it had been hot at home, it was sweltering in Florida, even in the early morning.

Gaz glanced around her, surveying the territory. "This place scares me…it's too happy. Remind me why I could bring my game?" she asked her father.

"It's family togetherness time, Gaz!" Prof. Membrane explained, "You'll need real memories someday, not just what you get from those video games."

Gaz frowned, then one of the characters came up to her. It waved stupidly at her. "AAIIIEEEEE!!!!" she screamed and ran behind Membrane's legs, clutching them, trembling.

Dib slapped his forehead. His sister could be so embarrassing sometimes. Membrane knelt down and picked her up. "Really, dear, what in the world is there to be scared of here?"

Gaz shuddered, and clutched her father's shirt. "Too…happy…and… stupid…"

Membrane patted her head tenderly, "There, there…I guess all this sunlight is getting to you. Maybe staying indoors all the time isn't good for you." He stood up and began to walk away from the character.

Dib hurried to keep up, grinning. "But Dad," he said, "If Gaz spends time outside, it would make her normal."

Gaz growled under her breath and vowed vengeance on Dib at the next possible moment.

* * *

Meanwhile, Zim and GIR were entering the park over a side wall seeing as they were turned down at the front gate and "bounced" off the property when Zim protested. They landed on the pavement and looked around.

"What is this place?" Zim mused. He had traded his normal uniform for something a little more tolerable of the heat: a magenta T-shirt and black shorts and his boots. GIR was in the little big-headed boy disguise.

"I like it," GIR said, and ran off into the crowd.

"GIR! Come back!" Zim called, running after him. He found him in front of a gift-shop window, staring up at a huge pile of stuffed animal characters. He grabbed GIR's arm. "Come on, GIR. We need to find the Dib creature quickly. It'll be hard enough in this mass of stink beasts without you wandering off all the time." Then he walked off, dragging GIR along behind him.

* * *

"Wow! The Buzz Lightyear ride!! I get to shoot at aliens!! Let's go!" Dib raced off toward it. Gaz and Prof. membrane sighed and then followed him. As they got closer to the ride, they noticed the large line of people. Seeing as waiting is for patient adults, not two young children, they went around the line and right to the front.

"Excuse me," said the employee at the front, "But do you have a pass or something? Otherwise, you'll have to wait in line like everybody else!"

Dib and Gaz just pointed to their dad, a known celebrity, "Sir, I do believe that because you woke up this morning and ate a nice, tasty slice of Super Toast this morning, you should feel inclined to let us through. I am Prof. Membrane after all, and if it weren't for me you would be hungry at this very moment! And doesn't this company have a celebrity policy? Hmm???"

The young man looked very intimidated, so he stood up straight as possible and saluted to the Professor, then waved them in, stammering apologies.

5 minutes later, they came out of the ride. Dib and Gaz had naturally scored the top rank possible. Dib because he went crazy and blasted everything in sight, and Gaz because of her videogame expertise. Their father, however, looked thoroughly bewildered and dizzy. The Disney World Security sadly had to decline Dib of a second try, because they didn't want another cart mangled.

As they walked away, Gaz turned to Dib. "That was pretty cool. Do they have any others like it?"

Dib shrugged, "I dunno. I think there's one in Universal Studios. Can we go there, Dad?"

"Not today, son," Membrane said, shaking off his dizziness, "Today we are witnessing the magical magic of the Magic Kingdom!"

Dib and Gaz looked at each other, shrugged and spotted the next ride. Not bothering to look at what it was, they hurried inside, with Prof. Membrane following close behind. Another 5 minutes later, they exited what had turned out to be It's A Small World. And they looked horrible. Dib's glasses had cracked and his spiked hair hung limp in front of his face. Gaz's normally squinted eyes were wide open and starring blankly into space, and she and developed a bit of a twitch. Prof. Membrane's sunglasses had swirls spinning on them and his one spike of hair also drooped listlessly.

"I…I think that's enough magic for one day…" Dib stammered.

Gaz only nodded.

Then something green caught Dib's eye, making him lurch back to reality.

"IT'S ZIM!!!!!!!!!!!!" Dib screamed, making his sister and father jump back to reality as well. They glanced in the direction that Dib was pointing frantically, but Zim (as it was him) had disappeared into the mass of in-duh-viduals.

Membrane sighed, "Son, I think you're getting a little too obsessed with that boy. Now, I won't have you hallucinating while we're on vacation," he exhaled deeply, satisfied with his little speech, "Come along then. We have more magic to see!"

"Yeah, Dib," Gaz said, "Try to be normal while we're here, ok?"

"But…but…but…oh…never mind," Dib stammered, finally giving up his argument and hurrying after his family.

* * *

When Dib had seen Zim, he had been chasing after GIR once again. GIR had an unusual knack for disappearing into crowds very quickly. Just as Zim was about to give up and kick a trash can in anger, GIR reappeared at his side.

"GIR!" Zim cried, "Where have you been?"

GIR only grabbed his master's arm and dragged him off, finally leading him to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. "I wanna see the pirates!!" he said excitedly.

"We don't have time for this nonsense, GIR," Zim said, "We have to find Dib and get my egg back before –" But by this time, GIR had gone skipping into the ride, right past the line. "GIR! Get back here! Don't make me come get you!" Zim said, angrily following after the little robot.

It wasn't long before he found himself seated in a mechanical boat with GIR, entering the ride. He crossed his arms and pouted. They were wasting time. Why did GIR have to be such a nuisance?

Then the animatronic pirates caught his attention. He watched them, bewildered, not sure what to make of them. They looked like the humans, but their movements were far too jumpy, not life-like at all. What were they? And why were they dressed so oddly.

Then the shooting started. Zim didn't know it was only smoke and lights, so he screamed and hid under the seat of the car. GIR giggled insanely and waved at the pirates. "HI THERE!!!" he called to them, grinning.

When Zim looked up again, they were coming to the end and the gift- shop loomed in front of them like a bright light at the end of a tunnel. GIR hopped out of the car and Zim quickly followed.

They exited the gift shop not long after. GIR wore a pirate hat and held a plastic sword in his hand. He couldn't have been any happier. Zim stomped after him, still fuming. GIR ran in circles around Zim and poked at him with the sword.

"Why master not happy?" he asked, "Disney World is the happiest place on Earth!!!"

Zim flinched. Just the words were disgusting to hear. "GIR!" he said, "Stop this!! We don't have time to –"

But GIR was already dragging him off towards another ride. "No, GIR! Noooooo!!!!!"

* * *

It was night now and Zim and GIR were just arriving back at the hotel. GIR was as happy as could be, but Zim looked considerably bedraggled. His wig sat crooked on his head and one of his antennae stuck out. But at the moment, he really didn't care. He just wanted t get away from that horrible place as soon as possible. Besides, he'd seen so many freaks at the park that no one was bound to think anything of his unhidden antenna. Also, his contacts were acting up because of the awful heat. He couldn't wait to cast off his disguise and get some sleep.

As they headed up the stairs, GIR sang the "Small World" song and hugged all of the things he'd bought in the numerous gift-shops. They reached their room, and just as Zim was about to announce their immediate departure when he heard the Membrane family coming up behind them. He grabbed GIR and ducked inside their room quickly. He tossed GIR aside and pressed his head to the door, listening in on the family's conversation.

Outside in the hallway, the Membrane's looked just as worn out as Zim, but their moods were a bit more positive. As they prepared to enter the room, Gaz looked up at Prof. Membrane, "How's the egg-thing?"

Membrane looked startled, as if he was coming out of a trance or something. He looked down at her, thought about it a minute, and then said, "I'll have to check on it first thing in the morning. Thank you, daughter." Then he entered the room, walked across the room and fell down on face first on the bed. Dib and Gaz exchanged glances and followed him inside, closing the door behind them.

Zim cursed under his breath. This just proved that the humans were keeping the egg in their hotel room. This meant that they had to stay here longer in order to retrieve it. Moaning, he tore off his disguise and tossed it on the floor. Then he trudged across the room and crawled up onto the bed, sprawling himself across it in misery.

Then GIR turned the TV on.

* * *

It was nearly midnight. It was also only 15 minutes since the Membranes had arrived back at the hotel. Dib and Gaz had found dry cereal in the mini-bar and were sitting on the edge of their father's bed, watching Zorro reruns on Disney Channel. They were so fixed on making fun of everything because it was so old, and yet marveling at every exciting moment, that they didn't notice poor Prof. Membrane trying to sleep.

With every comment, laugh, and 'oooh' from the children, his face became more and more contorted with the insanity of a parent driven to the brink and beyond. At last, he snapped, sitting straight up and picking them both up by the collar, turning them around and telling them in deadly quiet, "Son, Daughter, I'm very tired and it's past midnight…" His voice raised substantially, "GO TO SLEEP!!!!!"

With that, he flung them both into their beds and silenced the TV with a click of the remote. The Membrane family spent the rest of the night in a fearful (and for the Professor, peaceful) silence.