The front door slammed, and Gaz braced herself for Dib's assault.
It never came.
"…Dib? Aren't you going to yell at me now?" Gaz called out, poking her head into the kitchen to see if the human black hole was inhaling food like he tended to do.
"I'm in here." The voice drifted down from upstairs, and she followed it to Dib's door. Opening it, she raised an eyebrow at the lanky teen charging around his room filling a duffel bag with clothes, his haunted gummy bear collection, laptop… anything of any value he could get his hands on it seemed.
"We're not leaving the country, you know." Gaz pointed out, and Dib paused long enough to shoot her a look that clearly said "you're missing something." Waiting patiently for her older brother to fill her in, she tapped a foot on the rug.
"Seriously, Gaz? A GIANT ROBOT is coming to THIS AREA to do BATTLE. Our entire house could get smashed!" Dib over articulated.
"And that's a bad thing?" Gaz ventured.
A moment passed with Dib glaring sullenly at her, and she sighed and waved an arm. "Fine, fine. That would be most tragic." She amended, perching on her brother's bed as she watched him bustle around the room.
"But I'm not leaving." She stated quietly as Dib blew the dust off an issue of Crop Circles Magazine.
Immediately he inhaled sharply, and hacked on the cloud of dust that settled in his lungs. Eyes watering as he made desperate wheezing sounds, Gaz critiqued the posters in his room while she waited. That one was stupid- there was no such thing as a vampire gerbil- and that one was even more stupid- Dib didn't seriously believe that was a real haunted Poop cola can, did he?
Recovering from the respiratory attack-causing dust Dib froze and stood ramrod straight, squinting at Gaz like she'd spoken in Irken. "You… what?" He gaped, knowing a battle of wills was about to spark.
"You heard me, Dib. I'm not leaving like some prissy lady in distress. I'm staying and fighting."
Dib pinched the bridge of his nose under his glasses and let out a long breath. "Look, Gaz. I get the whole chickening out thing, really- I feel pretty lame too- but I'll freely admit this is out of our ballpark! As much of an insane, stuck up, idiotic jerk Zim is, he's the only one with the technology to stand up to whatever's coming. We'd be in his way." Dib reasoned in a placating tone, trying to get his sibling to realize they were only humans and had nothing to offer in this fight; no mechanical gadgets that came out of their backs, no amazing eyesight, no claws or fangs or any other natural weapon… and they certainly didn't have bazookas lying around to contribute.
"You're wrong Dib. We do have something to help with." Gaz rested her chin in her hand and watched her paranormal-obsessed brother from between her bangs, waiting for him to take the bait. It must have been hard for him as it was, ignoring the fact that an epic alien vs. robot showdown would be occurring in their own vicinity without trying to convince another person to leave with him.
A heartbeat passed before Dib suspiciously asked "Oh yeah? And that would be?"
Gaz smirked. "For you, Tak's spaceship. For me… remember Project Doomsday?"
Dib paled and backed away, eyes widening. "P-project Doomsday? The… the one that dad…?"
Gaz smiled innocently. "Yeah, that's the one."
Dib shook his head and resumed tearing apart his room in search of items to bring with him on his great escape. "No Gaz, he abandoned that project for a reason! Mankind isn't ready for that level of SHEER DOOM!"
Gaz shrugged and hopped off Dib's bed, heading for the door. "Think what you like Dib, but if we don't stop this thing now with Zim's help there might not be a mankind left. Or, at the very least, a significant amount of cities." Leaving the room with that parting temptation, Gaz descended the flight of stairs and headed towards the end of house both siblings seldom entered. Stopping before the shiny steel barrier with a plaque that read "Membrane home labs" Gaz turned the handle and opened the heavy door.
It was pitch black inside, and she fumbled around for a light switch on the cold wall. Flipping it, rows of fluorescent lights illuminated tables of laboratory equipment and computer monitors not so different looking from Zim's base in terms of spiffy advanced appearance. Walking through the rows of science-y stuff, Gaz headed down the impossibly large underground facility to the back half of the lab. At the end of the spacious room was an excessively large door that had imposing black letters printed on it- "PROJECT DOOMSDAY. DO NOT ENTER."
Blatantly ignoring the warning, Gaz turned the handle and dug her shoulder against the door, heaving the monstrosity open a few inches. Deciding a few inches was all she needed, she slipped inside and flipped another found light switch. This room was smaller than the main lab, but only one object sat dormant in it- a bulky shape covered by a dusty tan tarp. Shoes echoing eerily within the metal confines, Gaz stopped short as she heard a noise behind her.
"Hey, a little help Gaz? My head is stuck."
The girl rolled her eyes, but marched back to the door and pried it open a little farther, Dib's head fitting through the gap with a bruise-inducing scrape. Leaving her hippo-headed brother behind to rub his new injury, Gaz grabbed the tarp and yanked it off.
Both siblings looked up and gawked in astonishment.
"It… certainly makes Zim's look like a pile of dookie." Gaz muttered, taking in the sleek form.
The battlebot put Zim's to shame in terms of appearance, but Gaz assumed its technology was millennia behind the Irken's. Bipedal like Zim's but with large feet to compensate for primitive balance, the robot had a muted gray metallic color and Plexiglas windshield. Equipped with various exploding, shooting, dangerous paraphernalia, Gaz could easily see why her father had sealed it away from the world. This thing might not be perfect or indestructible, but it could still cause some serious damage before being totaled.
Grinning, Gaz walked behind it and climbed small metal rungs to the top. Zim would shit himself when he saw his "human relation" and arch nemesis come to aid him. Opening the hatch at the top and sliding in, she saw Dib giving the robot a dubious look through the blue tinted glass. Flashing him a thumbs up, she almost chuckled when he stepped beyond the door and only kept his head partially through to watch Gaz attempt to pilot the machinery from safety. This however also meant he got to observe in amusement as she snooped around for the keys in frustration, finally finding them hanging on a small peg on the left of the tiny control pod. Snatching them, she studied the control board. Two levers obviously acted as leg controls while another two served as arms, and every button was labeled something asinine- "Death Cannon" and "Ray of Death" and "Oh-Damn-This-Will-Kill-You-So-Hard", to name a few. Thrusting the keys in the ignition, Gaz twisted them and waited in anticipation for the robot to power up.
Power up it did with a loud electrical-sounding zap, and an idle buzzing noise signified the robot ran on some sort of electricity her father had managed to harness and make efficient for running a large combat mech. Shakily making the robot take a few lumbering steps that quaked the room, Gaz quickly got a feel for the mech's gait and handling, and within minutes was maneuvering it around the room in small strides.
"Dib! This is just like a video game!" Gaz's voice called out excitedly from a speaker somewhere on the robot, and Dib crept farther out from his hiding place and watched in interest as a debate raged in his mind. Helping Zim was a kick to his pride almost as bad as a similar one to the groin, but if he wanted to have a city to return home to…
"I'm going to run routine maintenance on Tak's ship. You keep practicing with this thing, but don't blow anything up! We'll save that for later." Dib cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled, hoping Gaz could hear him.
The robot stopped moving, and Gaz took her concentration from the controls to give Dib a small, rare smile. "It's about time you actually did something cool. We'll leave in an hour- most of the city should be evacuated by then, and that's when Zim's heading out too."
Dib nodded, and squeezed through the door opening and out of the lab, heading for the garage at an excited run. Finally, an excuse to actually use the weapons on Tak's ship! He'd had his eye on the Volt Beam for some time now…
"Grrr… It most certainly is not! I think it looks pretty good given the circumstances." Zim protested, crossing his arms and sticking his lower lip out. Yeah, the bot was a little hobbled together, but he'd hidden some pretty cool weapons on the thing. Not to mention the fifteen minutes it took to paint the large Irken insignia on the front was completely necessary and worthwhile.
"It's gonna bake you a cake!" Gir shouted at Zim's antennae, making the Irken wince and rub them in pain.
"I hope it does, Gir. I hope it bakes Zim a powerful supreme cake of DEATH! AAAHAHAHAHAA!" Zim shook his claws in the air, enjoying the old feel of psychotic evil laughter that had ceased years ago along with his mission. It might not have been directed at his latest plot to destroy the Earth but the ritual invigorated him, sending long-dead Invader blood marching through his veins in searing anticipation.
"Gir. Do a bioscan of the city- are all the filthy humans gone? Zim is eager for destruction."
Gir's eyes blinked red for a moment as he swiveled his head in a robotically precise circle, and they faded back to blue with an excited "Ya huh!"
"DELICIOUS!" Zim declared, climbing up the robot. Before sliding onto his pilot's seat and locking the hatch shut above him however, he fixed Gir with an intense stare. Mindless blue orbs stared back at him, red and cyan facing off in a staring contest. "Gir. Stay here." He commanded, never breaking contact with the android.
A pink tongue sliding out with a squeak told Zim all he wanted to know, and the Irken sighed as he locked the hatch in place above him. Eyes narrowing, he powered up the robot and suppressed a shiver of delight. The memories of his sweet annihilation of Irk came flooding back to him, the fact that he'd caused destruction on the overwhelming scale that he had overriding the fact he knew it had been upon his own planet.
And here he sat again, in a slightly smaller but still deadly robot awaiting the fire and explosions and missiles to come as the pavement of the cul-de-sac in front of his house split open in much the same way his roof was designed to do. A platform raised him and his battlemech up from the murky bowels of his lab, and Zim licked his lips eagerly as he stomped off it and into a sector of the city a safe distance from his base and the Membrane household.
Plowing through the deserted city, Zim's antennae tingled at the ominous quiet- the sprawling mecca of human construction was unnaturally silent without cars running, people talking, or horns honking. Growing impatient with the delay in action, Zim humphed and slouched back in his seat. Had his Tallests really sent a death machine after him, or was this just their final way of messing with him?
He'd tried so hard to be a good invader- he really had! But the Tallests had taken his loyalty and thrown it back in his face, and Zim would never understand why. So what if he was incompetent? At least he had been incompetent here on Earth out of the way, not messing things up on Irk! If the Tallests had let him continue his false mission, he would still be content and occupied.
Zim studied the fabric of his glove thoughtfully. On the flip side, if he'd still been trying to destroy the Earth, he'd have never entered into such an agreement with Gaz in the first place even if it was for the sheer purpose of annoying the piss out of Dib. Perhaps, in a twisted sort of way, he had his Tallests to thank for that.
An earthshaking explosion nearby brought the alien out of his ruminations as a flash lit up the northern sky, and he took off for it in his robot at a lumbering run. A turn here, punching a car out of the way there, AAGGH! DOG WITH MEAT! A skid around the demon dog, and Zim clanked to a halt before it.
A smoking crater of ruin devastated the middle of the highway, and Zim peered through the dust and smoke billowing from the indentation warily. And when the smoke cleared…
"Are you pulling my antennae!? The Tallests sent me their own personal voodoo doll of me? That… that's just insulting! I can't fight a doll!" Zim thundered, bringing the foot of his battlebot down and smashing it flat with a dying squeak coming from the offensive plushie.
"Hey! We made that just for you!" Purple's insulted voice emanated from some point on the side of a building, and Zim whipped his head around searching for the source. A cracking of stone was heard, and he saw a nearby building lose a chunk out of it a second too late.
The wind was knocked out of his chest as his robot was thrown back against a skoolbus and Zim smacked into the interior of the control room, and the Irken coughed and drew in a shuddering breath of air. Reseating himself, he gripped the controls and righted himself resolutely. The invisible enemy was cloaked well, but Zim leered as he flipped up a covered button on his far right. He'd dealt with the Megadoomer's original faulty schematics once, and only he knew the invisibility shield's second weakness.
"Take this! A faceful of MY NEIGHBOR'S WET GRASS CLIPPINGS!" Zim crowed as a hose snaked around from a small tank on the back of his robot. A shower of the twirling hacked up blades danced and settled over the area, and the ex-invader's eyes darted back and forth as he waited.
At last it came- a movement, barely a twitch off to the side, but a twitch nonetheless.
"A-HA!" Zim interjected, firing a few rounds from the human weapon Gir had called a "machine gun." A rapid plinking sound indicated he was indeed striking the invisible robot, and he only stopped when a familiar groan eked out.
"Ughhh. Zim, you do you always have to ruin our fun?" Red's voice drifted from the area of space that was indistinguishable from the air around it, save for the little grass pieces stuck all over it.
"Because I'm your personal thorn in the side." Zim answered simply, making a dismissive gesture with his hand. "You might as well give up on the whole invisibility thing- don't you agree it would be cooler for me to fight a robot than a bunch of floating plant pieces anyway?"
A shimmering was Zim's answer as the Megadoomer 2000 phased into view.
An impressive specimen, Zim couldn't push away the little knot of anxiety forming in his squeedlyspooch at the sight of the machine. A russet red color with a brighter red Irken insignia emblazoned on the chest area, the robot had a more defined android figure than Zim's battlebot. Its small upper center indicated a physical pilot was absent, and its entire body was made out of some high grade of metal- and the fact that only a few external weapons were apparent unnerved Zim. It wasn't like the Tallests to hide their artillery…
"Clank!" "Chink!" "Ka-chunk!"
Zim nodded in affirmation of his justified paranoia as various weapons unfolded from hidden compartments, and wasted no time. Firing off a Pulse Bomb, he gripped the controls as he evaluated the damage. Antennae drooping, Zim ignored the Tallests' laughter at the unscathed Megadoomer. However, the solution was obvious- he'd just have to use MORE BOMBS.
Mashing the button on the console, Zim rubbed his hands together in glee until a choked gasp cut off his premature victory.
The Megadoomer had sprung forward and ripped off the Pulse cannon, grinding it into the ground while pitching back an arm with a retractable blade on the end in one fluid sequence.
Zim's mind went blank with denial and disappointment as the blade seared forward toward the glass of his pilot's pod. The battle had barely begun and already his Tallests were trying to sweep him out of the way at their earliest convenience! Holding up both his "middle" fingers, Zim determined he wouldn't go down without a lasting insult in the very least.
When the tinkle of shattering glass didn't occur, a grating sound like steel under too much stress took its place and had the Irken clutching his antennae in agony as he cracked open an eyelid at a "snap!" and clatter below him.
Before him stood a well-built but still plainly human-created robot of similar make to Zim's and the Megadoomer, dull gray color pallidly reflecting the sun as the hand that had closed around and broken the blade end flexed to reveal sparking circuits and rent metal.
"Who is this!? I DEMAND you identify yourself or face the terrible wrath of ZIIIM!" He immediately squawked, taking aim at the unknown arrival.
"Stop yelling, you dunce!"
The familiar voice drifted not from outside, but rather from inside Zim's cabin. A comm link had been established, and Gaz's sultry voice crackled through with as much authority as she could muster while fending off an updated Megadoomer.
"Gaz! Why you-! I TOLD YOU TO LEAVE!" Zim roared, swiftly joining Gaz in trading blows with their enemy.
"What made you think I'd listen?" Gaz retorted, knocking the Doomer's feet out from under it with an improvised sweeping kick.
"Because…! Dammit human, of all the times to ever ignore me, you choose this one!?" Zim fumed while bashing the Megadoomer over the "head" with a nearby car.
Dib watched from his place in the sky as his sister made her entrance, listening through his own comm link to Zim's little fit with a grin plastered on his face. He observed in interest as their tempers rose, noting the fact that both increased the level and power of hits against their common foe while still managing to bicker at each other like wrinkly old ladies with startlingly bad potty mouths.
A laser blast from the Megadoomer had Gaz evasively sidestepping, but while her attention was diverted the robot lashed out an arm at Zim, sending his battlemech back a few feet and toppling over. Dib could practically feel his sister's desperation through the strained "No!" through the intercom, and decided now would be as good a time to join the match as any.
Flying down from the cloud bank he'd been tucked away in, Dib waited for the targeting system to achieve a definitive lock-on before loosing the grappling claw. The pronged claw sailed through the air with deadly accuracy and snapped shut around the robot's ankle, and Dib couldn't have been more pleased as he sped by in his ship and the Megadoomer was sent flailing into the side of a brick building. Retracting the claw, Dib picked up a few cars and flung them at the dusty hole in the wall for good measure before hovering closer to Zim's position to receive the earful he knew was to come.
"You DARE fight with me on MY battlefield!? I'd destroy you if I wasn't busy trying not to die!" Zim screeched in pure rage, shaking a fist as though he'd be able to obliterate Dib from sheer force of will. Pressed up ranting against the glass of his battlebot's windshield with antennae pinned back, Zim looked so ridiculously angry it was funny.
"You should be more grateful, you lizard! If it wasn't for me, you'd be a smelly little pile of charred-" Dib never got to finish his sentence. A screeching metal sound was heard as the Megadoomer 2000 hauled itself out from under the pile of cars, and the smell of gasoline laced the air as gastanks ruptured and leaked.
"Oh shit." Dib mumbled quietly, flying a few yards away to a relatively safe distance. Zim's robot had picked itself up and resumed its defensive stance, but a spine chilling cackle from the Irken heralded the charging sound of one of the numerous weapons on his machine. Dib shielded his eyes as a blast of something shot out of a cannon on the robot's arm, and he squinted through his fingers to see if any damage had been done.
All combatants made respective noises of dismay as only a smudgy black spot indicated the Megadoomer had been shot at all.
"Zim, we're here now so deal with it. Any ideas on taking this thing down?" Gaz groused, looking through the barrier of her own robot to lock with Zim's burning red eyes.
"Uh… not… at the moment?" Zim stuttered, backing up a few paces as something on the Megadoomer began to glow.
"So what the hell do we do, space freak?" Dib interrupted, aiming a laser blast of his own to intercept the Megadoomer's. Changing his mind at the last second Dib smirked as he pressed the Volt Beam button on the dash, and watched excitedly as a bright blue ray of energy struck the Megadoomer's own bolt. A cloud of dust erupted with a loud boom, and Dib felt the shockwaves even from his vantage point in the sky.
"DO NOT HELP ME, YOU WORM! And I don't know, shoot it! And stuff!" Zim bellowed, growing tired of blocking blows and dodging lasers. Growling, the Irken hauled his robot forward to crash with the Megadoomer in an earsplitting screech of metal on metal, bludgeoning it with his mech's arms mercilessly. Dents in the Doomer's exterior gradually appeared as Zim sparked with anger. "Are you watching, my Tallest? I'm going to tear out your brains and feed them to my robot!" Zim barked, snarling at the Megadoomer as he rained curses in various languages and blows down upon it.
Gaz and Dib remained off to the side, silently watching.
"You know… I'm kind of glad I never made him this pissed at me." Dib whispered, and Gaz mutely nodded. Zim was so furious he was practically spitting like an ornery cat, and Gaz decided to let his blind assault proceed without interference. Borne of every negative emotion for his leaders that he'd kept bottled up tight, if the explosive release came in the form of beating their enemy to death with only giant metal robot fists, well, who was she to stop him?
"And just for you, my Tallests!" Zim seethed, bringing a fist down on the head of the Doomer. A resounding crack was heard followed by an unusual word presumably in Irken, and Zim smiled wickedly.
Back on the Massive…
"HEY! THAT WAS UNNECESSARILY FOUL LANGUAGE! Did you HEAR what he SAID!?" Red shouted, voice echoing indignantly through the Massive's control room.
A technician in the background fainted, and Purple's eyelid twitched. "I had no idea Zim even knew that word! That… I can't believe he actually said that!"
The two Tallests watched the screen with mouths agape, food chunks falling out of them to the floor. They had an excellent view of Zim's enraged visage, and the feed would flicker and jerk with every blow.
"Pur… do you think Zim will actually win this?" Red asked slowly, shoving another doughnut in his mouth despite his revulsion at Zim's swear word.
"I don't know, Red. Either way he'll leave us alone, but seeing him as a little green smear on the ground would be a nice highlight to my day." Purple responded, cramming a fistful of popcorn in his face and gobbling obnoxiously.
Zim's barrage was halted by the Megadoomer kicking his bot off and jumping to its feet with a loud clang, and the Irken hissed in satisfaction at the damage he'd caused. Of course, his own robot's arm was a mangled piece of junk now, but seeing the scrapes and dents along the Megadoomer 2000's surface made it worth the sacrifice. "Gaz! Dib monkey!" He demanded loudly, backpedaling to buy more time.
"I'm not a monkey! Now what do you want?"
Both siblings responded in turn, and Zim huffed. "You are too a monkey, Dib. An ugly, smelly, disgusting, putrid-" Zim was cut off by the whooshing of a metal appendage swiping by him, and he shoved the Doomer away. "MONKEY!" He finished, and pouted childishly at Dib's flat expression. "Anyway, as I was saying before the Dib-monkey interrupted, I have discovered a weak spot!" He exclaimed, shooting off a few rounds of plasma beams to keep the relentless enemy at bay.
"Oh yeah? And what would that be, Zim?" Dib drawled sarcastically, ignoring Zim's spluttering of outrage when he attached his hook to the Irken's battlemech and tugged it aside a few feet to avoid a crushing punch.
"Insolent little…! Rrrgh, the base of the head, Dib smell! I created a rather magnificent dent there, and if one of us can manage to fire something at the spot, it might be enough to punch through and sever lower body circuit links." Zim ground out, holding back a grunt of discomfort as he was tossed in his seat by a well-placed kick.
"On it." Gaz and Dib said through the comm link, and Zim was about to give the go ahead in turn when his eyes widened in horror. "Sibling spawns, no! Wait!"
His warning came too late. Dib zipped forward in his speedy little spittle runner, and Gaz extended an arm blade and clomped forward to sever the head as the Megadoomer remained suspiciously still. In a fraction of a second, Dib had exposed the neck circuitry with a blast in the same instant Gaz had hacked the lower body almost completely off at its thin middle and Zim had surged forward to bowl Gaz out of the way.
An explosion blasted the area, and Zim couldn't hold back a howl of pain as he covered his antennae and cringed away from the fracturing glass of his battlebot. A searing pain shot through his forearm, and he instinctively clapped a hand over it to yank out the shrapnel lodged deeply in the green skin. Dimly, he was aware that it was only because of the glass he hadn't ended up a bludgeoned smear because of flung debris like the rest of his robot, or like…
"Dib sister! Dib!" He called out into the city. It seemed as if a blanket of wool had been wrapped around his antennae, and things were muffled and surreal. Nearby buildings looked like weathered rocks, bricks missing and objects stuck into them haphazardly. Not a single car wasn't overturned and beeping, and lampposts and signs and anything within a radius of the Megadoomer's self-destruction were blown outward. Fine dust and ash floated through the air in a haze, and Zim waved away the pollution as he scanned the wreckage.
Antennae twitching unbidden at something a few to the right, Zim whirled toward it and stumbled over. A tapping sound issued from under a sheet of warped metal leaned against a pile of…no, that wasn't a pile- it was Gaz's robot.
Wrenching aside the metal and offering Gaz a hand out of the remains of her battlebot, Zim mutely pointed to a rivulet of blood running down the side of her head.
"I think one of my eardrums burst…" Gaz murmured, and Zim nodded sympathetically. His antennae were already readjusting, but those little membranes in human ears were far more fragile and not immediately repairable. Riddled with other tiny cuts and bruises, Gaz had been insulated from the worst of the blast by her robot's metal pilot cage and shatter-resistant… whatever that bendy glass stuff was.
"Good. She is mostly unharmed." Zim thought, sparing an instant to nuzzle her in relief with a quiet hum.
"Where's my brother? I could have sworn I saw him escape the majority of that explosion." Gaz asked Zim, knowing the Irken's superior hearing (even when damaged) was still better than that of a human's.
Zim tilted his head and triangulated Dib's position before answering. "Somewhere over there. He's saying something along the lines of… Oh. No, I won't repeat that. But he's fine, if his cursing is anything to go by."
Gaz let out a breath she didn't know she'd been holding. Man, her ear hurt like a bitch.
Catching sight of the arm Zim had kept tucked against his side like a bird's wounded wing, Gaz snatched it and knitted her eyebrows at the oddly colored pink clearish blood. That looked deep, and probably hurt worse than her ear as Zim's wince indicated. Pulling his arm back, Zim pinned it against his body again and lowered his antennae unevenly.
"I'll instinctively want to keep this away from you, sorry." The Irken explained apologetically, smothering his instinct to seek solitude and tend his wound somewhere small, dark, and alone. Opening his mouth to suggest they find the Dib, a sudden rumble rattled chips of cement on the ground. "Gaz…" He began slowly, raising his eyes to the pile of debris in the center of the explosion. "We… we're not done yet." He finished, swearing crossly as two metal arms hauled themselves and an upper body out of the rubble.
Gaz looked aghast at the reappearance of part of something that should have exploded, and a short scream escaped when a chunk of pavement was hurled at her. Jumping out of the way, the girl was grabbed by the arm by Zim and ordered a terse "This way!" before being dragged towards an alley between two intact apartments.
"This is ridiculous!" Gaz gasped, ducking behind a wall with Zim and panting. "The thing literally doesn't have legs anymore, but it's still trying to claw its way after us!"
Zim put pressure on the cut on his arm to stem the seeping blood, glaring in the direction of the steadily approaching noise. "Irkens are nothing if not tenacious." He muttered. "That thing was probably programmed to explode if its lower half was compromised- I should have guessed." Sleek antennae pricked alertly up when the sound abruptly stopped. "…Where did it go?" He whispered, tilting his head to listen. Daring to peek around the corner of the building, Gaz resisted smacking her forehead with her palm at his stupid decision.
"Aagh!" The Irken immediately yelped, ducking back around the side when an arm chopped down where his head had been seconds ago. Gaz backed up and watched helplessly as the Megadoomer's torso lurched into view, and Zim let out a low growl and extended his spider legs. The neck circuitry was exposed! All he had to do was snip a few lines and the thing would lose complete use of its arms and be rendered immobile!
Throwing all his concentration into manipulating his additional four limbs, Zim leapt up and over the Megadoomer's sparking torso and spun an immediate 180, lashing out at… nothing. Eyes focusing on where the Doomer should be, Zim snapped his head up and drew in a despairing breath as he saw Gaz glaring up at the Doomer's raised fist with a mixture of fear and resentment.
"Gaz!" Zim called out, feeling a sickening twist in his squeedlyspooch as the Megadoomer brought its arm down. Things seemed to move in slow motion- Gaz trying in vain to hurl herself away, the sunlight glinting off the robot's arm, Dib's ladylike shriek from some distance…
"SCARY LADYYYYY!" A piercingly shrill voice split the moment, and time sped back up as a silvery blur rocketed into the path of the descending arm. A nauseating crunch was heard, and the Doomer lifted its arm to calculate the casualty it had doubtlessly inflicted.
Gir's little body lay limp in the small crater created by the pounding fist, and Gaz and Zim stood frozen at the sight. His cyan eyes blinked and flickered, and a shower of electric sparks fizzed from a wrenched wire exposed by the crack in his chest. He was banged up and scratched looking, normally smooth and featureless grayish metal contorted and scraped from the collision.
"Gaz! Gaz, are you… oh." Dib broke off, also seeing Gir's still form. Silence reigned for a few seconds, and all three beings slowly looked up at the Megadoomer. Fire blazed in each pair of eyes- one a molten amber, another a darker shade of the same behind scuffed glasses, and the third an inferno of unspeakably angry crimson.
Zim and Gaz saw red tint the edges of their vision, and Dib bit back a curse as they both screamed and launched themselves at the robot. Gaz clawed and kicked any possible place, and a small glint of metal indicated she'd pullet her pocketknife out and added it to the mix. Zim was scarily calm, methodically stabbing holes in the Megadoomer's hull with each spider leg while ripping off his gloves. Claws exposed, he dragged them down the Megadoomer with a nails-on-chalkboard screech, and Dib looked around frantically. Both of them had lost themselves to hurt and revenge, and it seemed he was the only one left who was sane enough to remember all they had to do was sever some electronics.
Spying a twisted piece of shrapnel embedded in the neighboring building's wall, Dib darted for it and snatched it up, ignoring the sting of pain in his hands that erupted from the sharp metal edges biting into his skin. Hefting the bulky piece, he glared at the robot that was waving its arms around in an attempt to dislodge the murderously violent creatures attached to it. Dib took a final look at Gir, and his mouth hardened into a tight line of anger. He'd liked that stupid little robot.
With an unintelligible warcall, Dib sprang forward and slashed at the Megadoomer's neck with reckless abandon. Wires split and pneumatic hoses popped and hissed, sparks flying and frayed electrical line dancing wildly with the motion. Zim and Gaz, through their hazes of mindless destruction, saw Dib and locked eyes. Nodding, Zim plunged his spider legs into the circuitry and clawed at anything he could get reach, ignoring the electrical shocks and burns beginning to mar his hands. Gaz copied in a similar manner with her pocketknife, sounds of choked back rage escaping as she stabbed for all she was worth.
And then, the robot went stiff.
A groaning sound was heard, and the three combatants held stone still with respective weapons raised to continue the attack. Slowly, ever so slowly, the Megadoomer pitched forward and collapsed on the asphalt with a resounding boom. Nobody moved for what felt like an eternity, each refusing to believe it was over. A heavy quiet floated over the scene, and slowly each being unclenched their muscles and began to step down from the Megadoomer 2000's defeated metal husk.
"Gir…" The name came out as barely a breath, and Gaz dropped her knife and trudged over to the android, kneeling down beside it.
Zim followed suit, and gently wrapped an arm around her shoulders. Dib watched from afar, but felt the pricking at his eyes and angrily swiped at them before shoving his hands deep in his trench coat pockets and hunching his shoulders.
"Gaz… I can fix him. It'll take a while, and the work will be delicate, but… he's not gone." Zim informed the girl, and Gaz shot him a disbelieving look.
"The exact way he was? With the rubber pigs, and exploding, and screaming and everything?" Gaz's voice was tight with thinly concealed hope, and she cradled the hollow looking robot close.
Zim nodded, and took the android from her carefully. "I wouldn't call it fixing him, in that case. More like restoring him." He commented playfully, enjoying the hiccuping laugh he elicited from the teen as she took his offered hand and stood up.
Gaz looked at the robot that had been the cause of all this hardship and calamity as the trio walked past it, and delivered a ringing kick to its side.
"Stupid junk. It never stood a chance." She drawled, giving up her search for Zim's hand when she realized she was walking on his injured side and his arm was still tucked against himself.
"Indeed not! For we are AQUAMEN!" Zim declared, voice carrying over the expanse of silent city with trumpeting authority.
Gaz rolled her eyes. Aquaman was arguably the worst of the superheros- would Zim ever figure Earth's nuances out? Shrugging, she put a hand behind Zim's neck and pulled him the few inches necessary down to her level and kissed him. Eternally out of the loop or not, he was certainly never boring.
The moment was short lived thanks to a titanically headed meat child. "Seriously!? We just beat a giant metal robot of death-"
"Doom, not death." Zim interrupted between kisses.
Dib rolled his eyes, but continued "-a robot of doom, and you guys don't even have the decency to do that… somewhere else?"
Zim assumed a haughty smile of triumph, and shook his head no. "I have conquered your sister unit and there is nothing you can do about it, Dib-monkey."
Dib made a couple strangled whistling noises like a pressurized teakettle as Zim captured Gaz's lips again, with the clear intent of aggravating him. And his evil little sister was going along with it! Grumbling and stomping back to the wreckage of Tak's ship to see if he could patch it up enough to sputter home, Dib ignored the dark chuckles emanating from behind him.
Secretly smiling as he began poking around the wreckage and doing a damage assessment, Dib tossed a quick glance over his shoulder and saw Gaz placing Zim's wig on his head despite the ex-Invader's protests. Firing up the emergency temporary engines, Dib got comfortable in the cockpit as he saw Zim tugging Gaz down the torn up, destroyed, smoking ruin of a street towards his subdivision of the city.
Dib shook his head in a "well, what can ya' do?" manner and took off jerkily into the sky towards home. Heh. Those maniacs were perfect for each other.
"Quiet! I'm doing the best I can. I have to be careful with these wires near his personality chip if I want him to be the same when he reboots." Zim scolded Gaz when she asked for the 59th time if Gir was fixed yet.
"Psh." Was Gaz's sarcastic response, and she resumed hovering over the makeshift work table/operating table in interest.
Zim's tongue poked out the side of his mouth in concentration as he reattached small cords, and Gaz leaned in excitedly. If she'd been listening right, that was the cord that would-"
"WHERE HE GO? I WAS GONNA EAT IM'!" Gir screamed into Zim's face, and the Irken made a fake look of displeasure at the familiar maniacal tone. Gaz covered her tender eardrum, but seeing the android fully operational (sort of) was a great occurrence. His repaired body gleamed with polish and his non-cracked cyan eyes glowed brightly, and he smiled expansively at Gaz while Zim stuffed armfuls of cotton padding around the delicate circuitry before welding Gir's little blue chest plate shut again.
"There. He's fixed." Zim announced, quirking a nonexistent eyebrow as Gir launched himself off the table and into Gaz's arms. "Eh… kinda." The Irken amended, smiling despite himself.
Gaz patted Gir's head as the robot burrowed into her embrace, and Zim barely picked up the quiet "Thank you." She whispered to the snuggling bot. Gir chewed a piece of her hair for a second, and hopped out of Gaz's arms and rolled away across the floor before she could break one of his newly replaced eyes for the transgression.
"Hmm… there's something we still have to do." Zim tapped his chin and swept around down a hall, and Gaz cracked a malicious grin and followed.
She'd been waiting for him to say those words for days now.
Stopping at her Irken companion's side in his main computer room, Gaz didn't bother to attempt to keep the grin off her face and freely let her smugness show. Zim tapped a few of the keys with Irken symbols, and Gaz felt like her Cheshire cat smile would break her face as the transmission feed patched through to the announcement hall on Irk.
From the monitor display they were given a panoramic view of the pandemonium they had incited by sending the Megadoomer's destroyed torso back to Irk with a prerecorded message for the race- and the room was currently being trashed by mobs of furious looking Irkens stampeding through the hall.
Outside the windows, the planet's surface and a few buildings could be seen; buildings which were, at the moment, crashing down or ablaze. Zim linked hands with Gaz as audio connections were established, and a dull roaring was heard. Individual furious voices were easy to pick out as Irkens rioted, and Gaz nodded in satisfaction at the calls they heard- "Where are the Tallests!? They need to answer for their Pak tampering!" and "Down with loyalty codes!" to pick a few.
Zim's antennae were set back at a comfortably pleased angle as he watched the revolution he had single handedly caused unfold. Irk was in turmoil, but his people would sort the issue out quickly. Irkens may not have had to adapt to changes like these for many millennia, but Zim had confidence they would manage- and hopefully the mistakes of the past would echo through when a new governing system was set up, and Irkens would decide for themselves who they wanted to rule.
Gaz rubbed one of Zim's antennas happily, eliciting a hum out of the alien as he leaned into her touch. A few of the rioting Irkens in the hall had noticed Zim's transmission on the far wall, and a large majority gave grudging bows to their unexpected enlightener. Zim nodded in return, and silently bade his planet good luck as he terminated the link. He'd seen all he'd needed to; Irk was in better hands now.
"Hey, I'm hungry. I was thinking… Bloaty's?" Gaz nudged Zim's side, and the Irken groaned.
"That horrible sweaty grease hog?" He asked in dread, and Gaz excitedly nodded. Sighing, Zim ran a hand along his antenna and directed his misery to the ceiling as he mumbled incoherently at the air.
"I'll buy." Gaz offered, pulling Zim down the hall that led back to the elevator.
Zim caught up and matched pace with Gaz, running a thumb across the back of her hand. "That won't be necessary. We're splitting the bill, as usual." The Irken asserted, and Gaz gave an antenna a playful thwack. Receiving mussed up hair in return as they stepped onto the elevator, Gaz held Zim contentedly as the Irken rubbed circles along her back and tucked her head under his.
A life-threatening battle and world revolution born from a not-so-innocent desire by two pessimistic beings to be assholes to Dib.
Zim smirked to himself, teeth shining in the dim red elevator light and breathing in Gaz's familiar scent as the lift smoothly rode up.
That agreement with Gaz had definitely been the best deal he'd ever made.
Yaaaay! *fireworks* Sooo, this is the end! Sorry putting it up took so long, but I proofread it a whole lot and school started up again- and I have college classes now too. But yeah, I hope you guys like the ending I wrote. Seriously though, drop me a review and tell me what you think, even if its something nice and short; I love hearing from you guys! :D And as usual, check my main author page for more updates- I'm going to be writing more stories in the future, and I'll be putting on there around when chapters/stories will be posted.
Thanks everybody! Leave me a review because they make me smile! :D :D :D (and even if you think I might not see it, I will- I still see reviews people post on my Bleach stories on my million-year-old other account. So do let me know what you think! :)