Hey there, my new and awesome readers. I am the new writer on the block, Invader Hope (named after the daughter of Zim and Dib) Yay.

Yay! I can finally do some writing and publishing and what not :D So, here I go...

Um, I have to add a few notes beforehand (awww :( get on with it):

*I don't own indaver Zim (would probably kill it if I did)

*Dib, Zim and Gaz are older, so keep that in mind

*And yeah, I'll keep updating only if there's an interest ^^; So R&R and more shall follow

Also, I apologize to my dear friend, Tunica Spellcaster, for adding her character to the story. Sorry, luv. I know you're not the biggest fan of this sort of thing, but your character is awesomeness for the story. Sorry again, don't kill me XO

Anyway, on with the show.

Hope you enjoy, and everything will eventually be explained...

There was a thud on the door.

It was quite distinct and loud enough to be heard from the kitchen where Gaz had been washing the dishes. Her head perked up, her dark purple hair whipping out of her face as it turned to look at the front door. What on Earth…?

She discarded the greasy frying pan used for her niece Hope's lunch today and made her way up to the door, wiping her hands on her apron. She hesitated for a moment, making for the baseball bat in the umbrella holder by the door, and then placed a shaky hand on the handle. She took a breath and opened it wide.

No one was there.

She took a step out, looking around, kind of nervous and bewildered as to who or what that was. She shrugged and was about to go back inside when it caught the side of eye. Her body swung into position to the side of the steps leading up to the front door she stood before. There, near the steps, was what she had grabbed the bat for. Though, by his current state, it was obvious the bat wouldn't be needed.

Zim lay there, unconscious. His body was limp; his antennae drooped over his face. His clothes were singed and he was covered in his own sweat and blood. Gaz looked at him, unsure what to do with the random body lying outside her house. She couldn't very well leave this alien outside her house for the public to see…but…bringing him into the house could be a bad idea. Was this his plan to get in? To get her to drag him inside and then ambush her, take what he wanted and then leave? No, he was genuinely unconscious. Gaz had seen him like this before. It was no trick.

She sighed, leaving the bat back in the holder, before walking outside and dragging his incredibly heavy body back into the house. She thought he would be lighter. But he wasn't. He was actually heavier than when she had seen him last at this weight before…

She dragged his dead weight over to the couch. It had taken her five minutes to get him up onto the sofa, but she managed it nevertheless. She gave a sigh of exhaustion and then went over to the door to close it. She looked at the body on the couch, laying there unmoving. His leg hung off the side of the couch and his hands rested gently on his stomach. His eyes were sealed shut, dark rings underneath his eyelids. This, and his pale skin made him look horribly ill. Gaz gave him a look.

Crashing. That was the last thing Zim had remembered. He had escaped. Yes, he was escaping and had stolen a ship. But the ship was damaged. He had stolen it from a garage and it was still in repair when he took it. It was crashing. He was coming into the atmosphere around the Earth too fast. He was going to crash. Thoughts raced through him. He was going to die. Worse, it may die as well. What was he going to do? No, he wasn't going to give up. He steered the ship awkwardly and violently and managed to crash it into a deserted forest. He had crawled out of the burning ship, feeling cuts along his face and arms from the glass that shuttered over him. He collapsed on the grass, drained from all energy he had used to run away from guards with guns, from steering an immovable steering wheel. He closed his eyes, his PAK resetting itself and letting Zim know it would find a safe place for him to hide…a place where he could get some help…a place where he would be….

His eyes flickered open. Everything was a blur before a woman with purple hair came into view. Something in his spooch twisted horribly. Oh no. Not here. Not now. As his vision became clearer, he saw Gaz sitting across from him, a gun pointed at him. Next to her seat was a First Aid box. He cheek tingled from the surprise plaster over it. He strained to speak, "G-Gaz?"

"Hello Zim. Long-time no see," she said in a bitter tone, the gun not wavering away from him, aimed directly at his crotch. He looked at her, his eyes pleading with her. "W-where…how did I get here?"

"Do you mean my house or to the couch you are now on that I dragged you over to?"

He looked down at the coffee table, something clicking in his head. "My PAK."

"What?" she demanded, struggling to hear the whisper he just made.

"M-my PAK. It's programmed to help find the safest place nearby for me or somewhere where I can get some help when I pass out," he realized, looking at her as he tried sitting up awkwardly. The gun pointed higher, Gaz warning him not to stand up or anything. He raised his hands weakly, sitting upright, but nothing more. "I didn't come here to cause trouble."
"That, more often than not, seems like your main goal in life, Zim," Gaz said, her bitter tone returning. Zim looked away, ashamed, his face feeling hot and drained of all life.

There was a moment of awkward silence between the two before Gaz broke it, shattering the silence with a sigh. "What are you doing back on Earth Zim? It's been four years since last we saw your slimy green face here…"

Her sentence was cut off from a distraught look upon Zim's face as he let out a breathless gasp. "F-f-four years?" he mumbled. "No, no, no. Not…not that long."

His words were very soft and almost lost to the waves but Gaz tried to make out what she could from his tone and expression. "Why do you seem so surprised?"

She saw something in him that didn't make sense. He looked like he would burst into tears at any moment as he spoke to her, his voice still shrill and soft. "I-I…according to Irken time, the time we were using in space…it had only been…six months."

Gaz wanted to burst out in an unforgivable rage, destroying the Irken where he sat because of his idiotic response. But that look upon his face. The genuine sadness and terror and horror of the situation were too much for her to do anything but stare at him blankly. "What do you mean only six months?" her words grinded against one another as she asked him in a serious tone.

His gaze shifted down to his stomach as he continued to speak with her. "Gaz…." he started, not really sure what else he could add to that. She stood, forcing him to look up. She neared him, gun clutched in her right hand. A shiver shot itself through Zim, his eyes going wide as she swung a punch at him. He flew off the couch and smashed into the coffee table. Wood and glass shuttered across the floor, Zim's limp body hanging from the still intact frame awkwardly. His head shifted barely as he looked up at Gaz. Her face was scrunched in annoyance and fear. "That hurt, you know?" he says barely.

Her face lit up in fury as she swings another hit at him. She aims for the stomach this time. Zim's eyes go into shock for a moment before he jumps backwards. Gaz's hand goes through the empty frame, glass cutting her bare knuckles, as she looks up. Zim fumbles over his feet and collapses onto his knees, holding onto his stomach in desperation. "Please Gaz, don't…!"

But it's too late. She's up, making a hit for him again. She smacks him on the back of his head. His face knocks into the side of the couch. He howls as he collapses backwards, his face burning and his antennae ringing. He turns his head and spits out some blood before looking up at her, anger becoming known on his face. She is about to kick him in the ribs, but he bolts up, grabbing the side of the sofa his face was ploughed into.

"You left her here!" she yells, tears streaming down her face. "You left your own daughter behind for me and Dib to care for without a second thought! You have NO excuse for abandoning your own family!"

"Gaz…!" he tries, coughing up more blood, obviously in pain.

"You have no idea how long four years really is, Zim! It may seem like such a little time for you, but she needed you. Dib needed you!"

"Gaz!" he screamed in agony. "Listen to me! I was held captive on the Massive by my own leaders as they experimented on me! I was tortured! Every single day I wanted to come back for her, but I couldn't! To think I left her…for…four…years…"

He crumbles to the floor, holding onto himself, almost chocking on his words, along with the wet green blood that drips from his mouth. Gaz looks at him in shock, unable to move.

He catches his running away breath and stands, holding onto the side of the couch still. "I-I should go."

"Oh no you don't," Gaz protested, lifting the gun, still firmly locked on his location. "You are not going anywhere until you explain yourself Zim." Her words weren't as harsh and her angry tone was almost completely gone, but she still tried.

"Shoot me if you want, Gaz," Zim said pathetically, "I wanted to die a long time ago."

"What was stopping you then?" she asks, not really caring if he answers or not…but he did.

"The thought of seeing my daughter again and then…the other thing…" he places his hand on his stomach.

Gaz looked at him, her eyes wide in shock. The way he refused to let her punch him in the stomach but allowed her to smash his face against the furniture. The way he was always looking at it. The fact that he was so heavy when she was dragging him to the couch. "You….you're…"

Zim looks down, his hand falling from his stomach. "I should go."

"How? W-why would you…? Was it that person…the one who…" she couldn't bring herself say it…that horrible word that she was surprised Zim even knew. Zim had said it earlier in a blind rage…but he sounded serious about it nonetheless.

Zim shook his head. He couldn't bring himself to say a thing, just standing there in complete self-loathing, something Gaz had never seen in him before.

Her eyes go wide in disbelief. "H-How?"

"It does not matter. I don't know why my PAK brought me here, but it was a mistake. I'm sorry Gaz. I-I didn't mean to put you through all this," his voice was firm, but still quite weak and sickly. He began taking a few steps back, eyes locked onto the gun in Gaz's hands. It shakes slightly, but she doesn't appear to be shooting him, so he continues. He let go of the couch, still moving for the door. Gaz was frozen in shock and didn't know what to do.

But Zim broke her concentration as he moaned loudly, a sudden pain shooting through him. The stress from the crash; the stress from Gaz finding him, the sadness from leaving his friends behind while escaping; the fact that he left his daughter for four years! All hitting him like a ton of bricks, forcing him to his knees. Gaz dropped the gun and makes a dash for him, catching him before he hit the ground heavily. She pushed his antennae out of his eyes and looked at him, concern all over her face. She cursed herself for caring for a nothing like him…but for Hope's sake, she needed to do this. Zim looked up at her, before his eyes closed his body retracting as he lets out a breathless sigh.

Zim felt miserable as he lay on the bed. Sweat dripped from his forehead, but his whole face felt like it was on fire. His body wrapped tightly around itself, his hands on his stomach lovingly as he took deep breathes, hoping the strain and pain would just disappear…how he was tired of the pain. Skoodge sat in the opposite bed, a sad look on his face, looking over at his shivering friend who refused to be touched by anyone. Skoodge had a huge cut going up his right arm, green ooze leaking against his pale green flesh. He was tired, his muscles ached, his spirit was shattered. But he sat there, making not a sound, his main focus on poor Zim.

It had been quite a few months now. Skoodge had lost count after four, but if he had to take a guess he would say it was around five by now, maybe six.

He remembered the night he found Zim.

It was in the forest…on that horrid planet, Earth. He was lying against a tree, covered in his own blood. He was dying. He was going to be dead soon. Skoodge didn't know if he was going to make it because Zim had done one of the most outrageous and unheard of things on their planet.

He had ripped of his PAK.

Circuits and wires hung from his blood-soaked back. Skoodge stood frozen for too long, he thought, staring at his dying friend, panic scattering itself through his then tiny body.

Skoodge remembered how he stood before the Tallests, holding tightly onto Zim who was close to death, his breath slowing and his eyes dull, begging them to help him. He remembered the harsh laughter and sadistic tone they gave the two Invaders about how they didn't care if that nothing of a defect died. Skoodge had never begged like this before in his life. He howled, swore, spoke against his leaders, something he would have never consider doing. He tried, saying he would do whatever the Tallests needed him to do to get Zim the medical attention he needed. He knew that the Tallests would, if they even bothered agreeing, would make a slave out of him. He wasn't wrong.

Skoodge was made into a warrior. An Irken Fighter to compete in the arena on planet Callousia, the planet of the 'Battle Galactica Regime'. This was created by the Tallests to pit the strongest athletes from across the universe against one another in a battle of strength, stamina and strategy (for their utter entertainment). Now, the reason why they wanted Skoodge on the field (considering having Irkens fight in these events was not very common) was because they thought he would be his normal Skoodge self and get easily hurt and maybe even killed on the first day. But Skoodge needed to remain alive. Because if he died, Zim would die too. That was the deal.

So, Skoodge decided to stick it to his leaders and tried as best he could not to end up as another splattered effect across the battle field. He became the warrior they had never expected he would become. He became stronger, faster and was a true warrior by now. Six months did wonders to him and now…he was a new Irken altogether.

He had managed to last for these last few months quite nicely, he thought. He wasn't dead yet. He did come back to his prison cell quite often covered in blood and in pain. He was almost dead that one time, but the point remained: he was still alive. And that was all he needed to be right now. For Zim. For his poor, sick…friend.

Zim opened his pastel, magenta eyes, looking over at Skoodge, his breath still uneven. "H-h-how was…the f-fight today?" he tried, his weak voice jumping. Even though Zim was ill, he always tried to rock up conversation and would always use his normal 'Zim' tone when he spoke. These last few days, though, his tone was slowly disappearing into the void of space surrounding them.

"It was…" Skoodge tried, not liking the sight of a hunched over Zim, writhing in pain, "Okay. Nothing too…different about today's…battle."

Zim scanned Skoodge for the first time since he arrived in the cell a few minutes ago, noticing the long gash across his arm. He felt a bit of concern for Skoodge, but would never dare show it. So, he simply said, "I s-s-see you got…cut again. I-I-idiot."

Skoodge gave a slight grin. He was getting used to Zim's insults, and found that if he still had enough strength to insult you, he was doing better than usual. Still. "Yeah, yeah," he mumbled.

Zim gave a small twitch that resembled a smile. He then groaned loudly, his eyes shutting tightly as he turned onto his back, his body spreading out, the blanket flying through the air. Zim placed one hand on his bare round stomach, the other clasped around his mouth as he gagged. Skoodge sat straight, his eyes opening as wide as their heaviness would allow. He didn't like that moan. It meant…

Skoodge bolted for the bucket near Zim's bed and jumped over to him. Zim jolted up immediately as the gagging stopped and was replaced by retching. Skoodge managed to give Zim the bucket before his bed suffered his illness as well. It had happened before when Zim had been ill and no bucket was there for him to throw up in. It did not end well in terms of explaining that to the medics and Tallests. Let's just say the punishment was worse than the illness and Skoodge and Zim still had the scars to prove it.

He had thrown up on the bed the first time Zim actually got ill while being here on the Massive. It was about a week or so after they had arrived and were thrown into the cell. He didn't see it coming, in fact. He was chatting with Skoodge after a day of being in the medical ward, having tests and drugs used on him (another catch to the deal they made with their leaders). The next moment, his lunch ended up scattered across the bed, much to Zim's discomfort and Skoodge's dismay. Zim and the Medics figured it was a side effect of the drugs and thought nothing of it.

The second time it happened was just to prove something was wrong with him. It happened while tests were being run on him in the medical ward. He threw up on one of the medics (which he thought was the most hilarious thing afterward, but never actually mentioned it, knowing he would most likely get beaten for it).

Zim gasped as his stomach stop retracting for a moment, coughing as the bile caught at the back of his throat. "God, this is torture," he mumbled, before continuing to heave into the bucket. Skoodge sighed, standing over Zim, watching to make sure his antennae didn't fall in front of the vomit at any point. Skoodge, at first, was completely put off by Zim's vomiting fits, and would usually keep his back to poor Zim while he empty his stomach like this. But recently, he got over and decided he needed to help Zim. If his puke got caught on his antennae, he just got more sick, which would eventually lead to him passing out which wasn't the best of things.

When he was sure he was empty, his stomach hurting slightly, Zim pushed the bucket away, falling backwards as he took deep breathes. Skoodge took the bucket off the bed and placed it in a slot in the wall which would take it away for them. He sat on Zim's bed and looked over at him, pity dancing across his eyes. "Is it…the tests or…" Zim interrupted him. "Both."

Skoodge closed his eyes and looked down.

When Zim first got ill, the medics simply believed it was because of the tests that were done to him; maybe a side effect from one of the drugs they tested on him. When it happened the second time, concern began to arise. The Tallests had hope; maybe he was dying. Maybe their troubles with him and involving him would be over! But oh no, this was far from over. This was the beginning of the end for all of them, especially Zim.

He was carrying a hybrid child (the first and only that the Tallest would know about anyway), something completely foreign to their species. In fact, Zim would have the Empire ridiculed by the entire galaxy if news got out that one of their male invaders had found a mate and had reproduced! However, this was also a good thing. They could create the perfect soldier, an heir that can take their place and continue the invasion. Human genes, as they researched, proved to have some positives in terms of height, strength and many other little things the Tallests became interested in. Zim was the best and worst thing to the empire right now. The Tallests needed him now…whether they wanted to admit it or not.

Since they had discovered this, more intense testing and experimenting had happened on Zim's body, meaning he was getting weaker and weaker and became ill more often. The first few months were the worst. Everything he ate was immediately spewed out. His emotions went off on their own tangent, leaving him confused all the time. His body even quit on him twice! Scrambling medics were able to revive his dead body each time, but leaving him weaker and more damaged in the process. He was basically just being used as an incubator for the child until the time came for it to be brought into the world. Skoodge didn't agree with this but he couldn't do anything, knowing he would be killed for it. Either way any of them looked at it…they were all going to end up dead by the time the new child was born.

There was a weak voice echoing through the hallway, "Is he okay?"

In the cell across from them was Tunica Spellcaster. Dressed in a black shredded uniform, she stood by the transparent red force field, arms behind her back, her silver eyes looking quite dull today.

She had met Zim and Skoodge last month. She met Zim in the Medical Ward while receiving treatment for an injury and had met Skoodge on the battle field. She was originally from Earth and found that she had quite a bit in common with the two of them…well, with Skoodge anyway. Skoodge thought she was a great help in terms of surviving the fighting ring and so, worked together with her when on the field. He protected her as best he could, and to repay him, she helped him with Zim, teaching him more about Earth pregnancies and such.

The thing that separated her from other Earth Humans and made her a worthy enough contestant in the Battle Galactica Regime was the fact that she was a wingless fairy, and a powerful one at that.

Skoodge looked up, Zim opening his eyes barely as he listened, not ready to speak just yet. "Not sure yet, Tunica," he said over to her. Her head tilted. "Give him something to drink…something with lots of sugar."

"I-I-I just had a vomiting fit and you want me t-t-to refuel the flames?" Zim trembled, annoyed.

"You need to replace the lost electrolytes Zim or you'll pass out again," Tunica said in concern. Skoodge nodded and got up, pressing a button on the wall near them. Zim grumbled, still not agreeing with their mad methods. Skoodge looked over at Tunica. "Are you sure you're ready for tonight?"

"Positive," she said, giving a slight smile on her pale, almost white face. "We only have one chance and it's today."

Zim mumbled, "I-it's not fair to the b-both of you. Th-th-they'll kill you."

"For your sake, Zim and your child's, this has to be done. The ship is there, I've made sure of it," Tunica said forcefully, not wanting him to pull back on this plan now. It was too late for that.

"And we can take on the guards, giving you enough time to make it to the ship before reinforcements arrive. You can pilot one of those things in your sleep. It'll work. It has to," Skoodge said, taking the cola out of a newly opened slot.

Zim closed his eyes. "It's – still – not – right…"

He drifted off, passing out.