Minutes to Midnight

Chapter 1: Prologue

Thousands of stars, millions even, were scattered across each individual galaxy, and thousands of galaxies were scattered across the universe. The universe they controlled.

Standing before the huge view screen on the bridge of the Massive, Tallest Red turned away from the spectacular view of the stars to find one of his senior lieutenant officers standing before him, though at a respectable distance due to Red's rank.

"Sir" The Irken soldier said as he straightened. "He is here" The officer said crisply.

"Send him in" Red said, almost sounding bored as Purple turned around as well and tossed his snack bag into a nearby incinerator.

Seconds later and the large, imposing purple doors that led to the rest of the ship slid open with an almost silent hiss. Walking into the command bridge of the largest, most powerful ship in the galaxy with a quick, yet long stride, Invader Zim came to a perfect attention with a click of his booted heels before the two tallest, most powerful beings in the Irken Military and the universe at large. Behind him, his SIR stood at an equally perfect attention with it's glaring red eyes staring straight ahead.

"Invader Zim reporting as requested my Tallest!" Zim barked as he saluted. Red casually returned it and watched as the Invader dropped his arm after him, returning to attention once more. Red looked at him for a moment, looking almost enviously at the rank upon rank of medals and awards that hung on his bright pink and red uniform, freshly pressed as his medals shined brightly. Despite his insanely high rank, Red did not, nor would he most likely ever, possess the large amounts of metal that only a soldier could earn. Yet Zim still answered to him. For now.

Zim was the best of his soldiers. Perfectly loyal, a natural fighter, an ingenious mind and to top it all off, Zim was tall. He wasn't yet the same height as Red or Purple, but he was very close, only an inch or two. That was what scared Red. Zim was a better Irken then him, much more intelligent, even though Red was just more intelligent then he let on, and Zim would soon be taller then either of them.

While he had once served with Zim, even looking up to him secretly, Red was now the superior and he did not wish to lose his rank and power, which he was loath to give up to Zim now.

"Invader" Red and Purple both said at the same time. "You have been called here to undertake an assignment of the utmost importance" Red continued by himself as Purple fell silent. "You will go to a new galaxy we have recently discovered with Irk's new satellites. It is far beyond our own borders, more towards unknown space really, but we want you to take a ship and investigate this system. If you wish, conquer any habitable planets in the area and then report back" Red finished.

Zim nodded and saluted properly. "As you command my Tallest!" He said with a fever, ready to prove himself to his leaders once again by being the very best Invader in the entire military.

"You did make sure the proper measures were taken into effect?" Red said to his companion. Purple, though no one other then several late medical officers and the Tallest themselves knew this, was slightly shorter then Red. The co-ruler of the empire had only remained in power for two reasons, one he was for most intents and purposes Red's brother. The other reason was that Red, to maintain his power and status, commonly, almost casually, used said brother as a scapegoat. Purple had been his excuse for when things went bad, while using himself as the reason things went good. Because of this, Purple was allowed to remain a Tallest, though it was more for ceremony then use. He never got a say in anything, never decided anything and most of all, really never did anything.

Today was an exception.

"Yeah" Purple said as he drank a green colored drink. "Everything was set before his ship left, the crew that did it should be lining up before the execution squad right now for 'Betraying the Empire' and 'Murdering it's best officer'" Purple said with an almost cruel chuckle. "Those morons never knew what hit them..." Purple added, then remembered his final order. "Oh and our agent should be leaving right now to make sure it all goes to plan."

Red simply nodded and turned to face the stars again, watching as one lone Voot Cruiser shot off at full speed for some random spec of space. "Good."

Zim's ship, after months and months of travel, finally arrived at the unknown solar system that the Tallest had sent him to. He had been in the system for less then five standard seconds before a loud explosion went off and red lights began flashing all over the controls as alarms blared.

"Computer!" He shouted. "What is the meaning of this!" He began to work frantically at the controls of his ship, trying desperately to stop his crash course towards a blue and green covered world. He was momentary lost in the beauty of it's mist covered surface before a trajectory warning went off, indicating he was about to hit atmosphere.

"Brace for impact" The monotone voice of his computer said. "Impact in ten...nine...eight...seven..."