Journey to a New World @otherealmwriter
Chapter 12

I don't own Invader Zim okay? I am still amazed how well many of you are taking to this fic of mine. I don't have much to say here, so enough of this A/N, on with the fic!

Tak had left Skool wanting to talk to Tenn about what had just happened. She had gotten Dib's phone number before they had left that day and while she had wanted to spend more time with him, he had explained that Gaz had some errands to run, or as he had put it, a new video game to pick up, and where he had a driver's license and she only had a permit, he was the one who had to drive her. But with great assurance he swore to her that he would call her that night. Satisfied with this, Tak headed back to her base, but not before picking up Tenn who was bound to be at the library yet again. She opened the door and looked around and saw a girl with red hair in braids and glasses near a pile of books. Knowing that Tenn had made a disguise much like Tak did but built it into a pair of glasses, Tak sat across from her and stared at what she could from behind the books.

"You really are getting into this place?" Tak said.

"Yes. I've scanned lots of information to add to the database when I get back to the base." Tenn said simply.

"Yeah and I doubt that," Tak picked up a book and looked at it with disgust, "Fifty Shades of Grey will be useful to our mission." She held the book with disgust, after talking with one of the lunch ladies who was reading it after the kids had gotten their food and had told her what it was about.

"It's a great example of how desperate and naive at best human women can be lured into an abusive relationship by a handsome male with tons of money. Humans love money. And that can make one think they are in love with the person with the money when they are are putting up with abuse for greater gain." Tenn explained.

"I would know all about putting up with abuse for greater gain." Tak mumbled thinking about her time on Dirt.

"Oh humans have that kind of abuse too." Tenn said almost too enthusiastically. "According to this book by a guy with a weird name of Upton Sinclair, they put up with the most horrid treatments in their jobs till they hit rock bottom and only then revolt against their masters. Humans put up with a lot of abuse."

"Boy, Red and Purple will love that one..." Tak sighed.

"Dude, a kid fell asleep and got eaten by rats, some of the women in the main character's family resorted to prostitution, some died, boy that guy had it rough and smelled like dookie too after awhile." Tenn said.

"Tenn, you are way too into these books." Tak sighed with a smile at her bunkmate.

"So? I get all the knowledge I need here without having defective SIR units ruin my base. While you may be getting more undercover intel that is valuable, we do need more than what Earth Hi-Skools can teach if we're going to pull this mission off." Tenn said defensively as she pulled up another book with a huff and sighed.

"Sorry." Tak apologized. "I guess I remember our Academy days more than I remember your mission to Meekrob."

"Apology accepted. But I sense you wanted to speak with me about something else?" Tenn asked looking at Tak with concern.

"I kissed Dib." Tak said.

"And?" Tenn asked, not getting why this would cause her distress. "He seems like a nice guy from what you said."

"Do you not get how serious that is?" Tak yelled, causing people to look at them in the library, and causing Tenn to give her a stern look. Dropping her voice to a whisper she continued, "Look Dib is from the native planet's race, maybe even an enemy race."

"Oh I wouldn't consider humans smart enough to be our enemy. Not like the Meekrob were..." Tenn sighed.

"Well, whatever we want to call humans, enemy or just natives, it's not in an Invader or even Irkens to care about others like this! Of our own species even! It's nuts." Tak said quietly but in a frustrated tone.

"Well it may be unusual for us, that is sure, but do you LIKE it?" Tenn asked.

"No." Tak said quickly.

"You don't like Dib or you don't like your confusion for him?" Tenn asked.

"Wha-?" Tak asked dumbfounded.

"This is a redemption mission for us. That is what we were told. Now if it turns out that way is another story but I think you really need to evaluate what is really important to you. You want to be an Invader after your chance was denied." Tenn began.

"Duh." Tak said rolling her eyes.

"I totally get why you'd want to be. You were one of the best in the academy. You'd be in an elite class. But you know what happened to me. A mixed up shipping label ruined my chances at one of the prize planets in the Irken Empire's crown. I call for help and get it only to find that instead of me trying to regroup or let the SIRs malfunction all over the place and maybe take down Meekrob, my whole planet hates me. HATES ME." Tenn said.

"I don't hate you Tenn." Tak said. "That was an extraordinary situation and you made the call you thought best."

"You're one of the few who see that." Tenn said. "I could have regrouped back on Irk and found a way to improve my mission with the fact that the Meekrob would have known if I had called for help or not that Irk had targeted them. I figured that I had information and first hand experience there so I could regroup better than giving it to the next pig being led to the slaughter. But nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo" Tenn said, drawing out the no with her disgust. "The normies on Irk wouldn't have that. I'm supposed to die gallantly in battle for the planet, even if dying in some noble battle is a HORRIBLE idea for the mission."

"So what does that have to do with my feelings for Dib and dislike of those feelings?" Tak asked confused.

"Your dislike of them is coming from your remaining loyalty to Irk, which fucked you maybe harder than it fucked me. You were denied your chance to even become an Invader because of something you couldn't help. It was not your fault and because of something beyond your control, because who would have known that Zim would have blown the power block, you were placed somewhere well below your status. You took this to get your chance to be something you really are." Tenn said. "But are they worth us?"

"What?" Tak asked.

"We're much better than an Empire like Irk. I mean I had the Meekrob on the ropes, almost had their key weaknesses when the SIR unit disaster happened." Tenn said. "I was almost there. I was that close" She said holding her fingers millimeters apart. "And that damned mixed up shipment ruined me."

Tak looked at Tenn. She could tell she really held that grudge against what had happened to her. And frankly, she couldn't blame her. And to hear her questions, only opened up more in Tak's mind. What really did matter to her? Herself or her empire? Tenn was right, the Irken empire did do her dirty and she was supposed to act like it wasn't an injustice, just what happened and a fact of life. Don't question it, Irk will determine your worth for talents? Meh. If they don't fit in with our military industrial complex bureaucracy, who the fuck cares? Just keep calm and carry on. Do what we say. Don't kick back. And then she was reminded of Dib. The one she had run into in the guidance counselor's office who was being subject to the planet's version of this at his age but would not let it crush his dreams or goals. He was smarter than the rest of them and was willing to explore more than they were. She looked up at Tenn and sighed. "You've given me some things to think about."

"Glad I could be of service. Now can I meet this Dib you speak so fondly of?" Tenn smiled.

"Why?" Tak asked defensively.

"Just want to see if he's all you make him out to be. I mean I know you're smart but do you have taste?" Tenn teased.

"Have you been reading the romance novels?" Tak said rolling her eyes.

"So what if I have?" Tenn blushed.

"I will never get you sometimes." Tak said.

"Well I have to head back. I'm going to check out these books and then we can talk later." Tenn said as she headed to the counter, Tak felt a vibration in her pocket.

"Dib." She smiled as she got his text.

"Awwwww isn't that sweet." Tenn smiled, carrying her bag with her. "He responded in a timely manner. He may be a keeper."

"Seriously?" Tak said as she read the message "'Just waiting outside the mall for Gaz to finish getting her games and kind of bored. Hope you made it home okay.'"

"He cares about you." Tenn teased. "Give me that."

"Hey! I'm supposed to reply!" Tak said as she jumped to get her phone back. Tenn shoved her back and then Tak grabbed the cell phone as it went off again. "Nutcase." Tak said. "I think some of those romance novels have gotten to you," She sighed as she picked up one of the books that spilled. "Alfred and Ivan, Cold War intrigue?" She read. "That's about two guys."

"So what if it is." Tenn blushed. "It's to study dynamics of taboo relationships of the past."

"Only 30 years ago." Tak said reading the date the novel was set on the back.

"Yeah when humans were one angry leader from mutual assured destruction." Tenn said blushing. "And while it may be fiction, fiction can often refect real life and be a better way to learn than old dried out textbooks. I mean I got more information from a Japanese manga that was a political allegory for interactions and history of nations than I did the standard textbooks used in schools."

"Whatever." Tak sighed and looked at her phone. "' I should be home at about 7pm tonight. Gaz wants to get some Bloaty's after this, so want to come over to my place?'"

"Ooooooooooooooooooooooh he's asking you to his house!" Tenn said. "This is a great chance for you!"

"To what?" Tak said, getting annoyed at Tenn.

"In terms of the mission, learn about dating protocols of young adults of the human species. Also to get to the home of one of the top scientists of this planet." Tenn said, getting serious.

"His dad is Professor Membrane." Tak remembered. "He did mention that his dad was one of the top scientists on this planet."

"And may have left some of his notes in his house. And with his frustration at his father, he may want to give you what he has done to spite him. You have feminine wilds, use them." Tenn said. "Unless the idea of tricking a human male who actually cares about the reject you are in your society makes you sick."

"Actually, yes it does..." Tak said.

"Well then think on what I said earlier about where do your loyalties lie, you or the Irken Empire." Tenn said seriously. "Because it seems you want something more for yourself than to just be an Invader. And there's times it's not all it's cracked up to be. Trust me."

Tak then text back that she'd meet Dib at his house then and asked for the address and headed his way. "Don't wait up for me." Tak said as she waved to Tenn.

"I will want to know how this goes Tak." Tenn said. "And if he's worth your time. And what your time is for. That will tell me what your choice of loyalty is."

"You've gotten quite philosophical since you spent all your time in the library." Tak observed.

"Well, it's quiet and gives one time to think." Tenn said. "Good luck"

"And same to you. Hope Zim or Skoodge don't see that one book you checked out." Tak teased.

"Shut up." Tenn blushed. "My reason I gave you would satisfy them. They're idiots."

"Yeah." Tak sighed. "See ya."

"See you too." Tenn waved as they went their separate ways.

So how was that? Good? Bad? Long? Short? Let me know in a review. I am hoping to be able to update more often if my allergies don't kill me and it doesn't get really humid here. Hot and humid do not mix. I can take 117 in the desert well before 85 with 60 percent humidity. Did make a passing reference to Hetalia in this when Tenn said she learned more about international history from a Japanese manga than a textbook because that is kind of the truth there. Anyway remember to read (well you just did) and to review. Ciao for now,




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