I do not own Invader Zim okay? I'm so glad to see people like this fic so much, especially since it is a DATR fic of mine and it is so underrepresented in the fandom. In fact if you read this and have your own idea, try it. But enough of this A/N, on with the fic!
Dib got home at about 2 am that night, a time what would not result with his father's floating tele-screen lecturing him about how the paranormal was something he need not worry about and he was just wasting his time with it all and as brilliant a young man as he was, he needed to focus on "REAL SCIENCE". No matter what Dib had said about certain ideas he thought of as scientific fact now were once dismissed as the paranormal was today and that gorillas were once thought like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster and that the studying the paranormal was as scientific as what his father did, it was dismissed. He took off his wet trench coat and hung it up, hoping that the rain would pass before he got up in the morning. While old enough to drive now, he did not like driving in the rain and preferred to walk when he could. Most of the paranormal field work he loved to do was often on foot. As he walked past Gaz's room quietly, he looked around opened the door and lied down on his bed.
He tried to go to sleep, but he just couldn't. When insomnia hit him before, he found that laying on his side or adjusting the blankets into a burrito roll around him had helped before but this night was different. He had seen it himself, Voyager 1 just disappearing. Something had gotten it. There was no other explanation. If it had exploded, there would have been something there to show the failure of the equipment. If it stopped being powered, it would just float along randomly and be pulled into orbit of something. But it just seemed to disappear. While he knew better than to seek his father's advice when something weird happened, he knew Darkbooty would be interested in his observations. This idea allowed him to fall into a sort of sleep.
On the ship, Tak looked at the map on the golden record with intense intrigue. Looking at the lower left corner she saw a map like something she had seen before in her travels. It was often seen at interstellar rest stops to show how far that particular stop was from various other solar systems near it. "I think I got what this is!" Tak said.
"What is it?" Red asked looking over at Tak.
"This is a pulsar map. The center is the place it came from. Do you have the ship you got it from?" Tak said.
"Here." Red said as he opened a door and showed Tak the Voyager satellite.
"Hmmmmmm..." She said looking at the technology. It was certainly good enough to get out of a planet's atmosphere and gravitational pull, defiantly for surveillance style, but had no military intent obviously. No military would send out a welcome if they were trying to attack or see who would attack them. "Wherever it came from, is defiantly way behind Irk in it's technological prowess. I mean they're good enough to leave, but not as backwards as Blorch. They're open to new peoples coming to them if they sent this record out but they have not made contact with other races enough to establish an effective language." Tak said.
"What makes you think that?" Purple said.
"Well, the different languages are playing on this thing, but they are all the same length before they go to the next one, so I'm assuming it's different languages on the planet. Yet wherever it was launched from speaks that first one." Tak said.
"Yeah? Why?" Purple said as Red looked at him annoyed.
"Because you go with what you know first you idiot!" Red said. "Think about it, when we post a sign or something official in the Empire, what language is first?"
"Irken." Purple said.
"Exactly." Red said. "Just go enjoy the snack bar." He said dismissing his co-Tallest. "One of the disadvantages of ruling by height."
"So I'm not the only one who thinks he's an idiot." Tak said.
"Nope." Red sighed. "Maybe I can push him off a cliff. But from that what can you surmise?"
"That we're close. I'll have to do some figuring but I can guess roughly, 13 billion to 17 billion miles from here." Tak said.
"I'll go tell the crew to get ready for landing soon. Not even a fraction of a light year from this new planet. Soon all it's resources and precious metals and beings will belong to Irk!" Red said. "See what else you can tell us from that antiquated piece of crap Tak. I'm so glad we chose to bring you. Knowing Zim or Skoodge, we'd find our way back to Foodcourtia several times." Red said, so excited he could hardly contain himself.
"What about Tenn?" She asked annoyed. While never really forming any friendships, she did want to look out for her as she was the most competent that she saw of the ones the Tallest selected and her name and fate was ruined by a mixed up shipment, nothing more, nothing less. Meekrob was nearly hers when that happened and when the Tallest decided to retrieve and regroup her, her name was ruined. A great injustice in Tak's eyes, much like her not being able to retake the test to be an Invader because of circumstances beyond her control. An equipment malfunction sent her to a janitorial squad. You only want me because I am a useful disgraced pawn who if your plans fail, you can dispose of easily. Tak scowled as she turned back to the spacecraft.
"What about her? I was under the impression you two were getting along well." Red said.
"Nothing." Tak said.
Dib had woken up suddenly to a smack to the face. "OW! GAZ!" He yelled turning to his sister.
"Shower's yours. We've got to get to school." She said simply. "You're driving. The rain picked up since the night."
"Can't we both drive?" Dib said, knowing Gaz had gotten her license recently, using his car.
"Because unless you want to ride to school on that dirt bike of yours, then you're going to have to drive. Dad won't get me a car till my senior year." Gaz said as she turned and headed out the door.
"I'm getting up." Dib said as he headed to the bathroom to get ready, thoughts of the last night in his mind. He was still rather sleepy, after only about 3 hours of sleep but he could not forget what he saw. Darkbooty was going to get what he could from NASA. No one had really kept good records of the signal so that when it did get picked up, it was highly unlikely that anything would be made of it, if it was noticed at all. But you would not make a record of gold with all that information and go through all they did if it was just a joke. Once he finished getting dressed, he put on his trench coat, poured himself a cop of dark black coffee and sighed. "The Paranormal Investigator's best friend. Caffeine." Dib said.
"I take mine in Poop Cola's newest drink." Gaz said as she pulled a Poop Cola Gamer Propellant. That plastic tab has saved me so much time."
"And yet you didn't have a cavity at all?" Dib said looking at Gaz's caffeination of choice.
"Nope." She said with an evil, prideful smirk. "Now get to the garage and warm that thing up."
"Fine." Dib said as he sat in his car, waiting for Gaz. This is the only thing Dad has really given me in years that didn't have a real science ulterior motive. He thinks internal combustion engines are too simple.
"Open the garage door up, what are you trying to do kill yourself?" Gaz said as she sat in the back seat and Dib backed out.
"I'm thinking about it right now." Dib said annoyed at his sister.
"Kill yourself on your own time." Gaz said. "I've got to be at school soon and the robotics team needs me in that battlebot competition. Ours is the only one that can actually fight like a person than rely on fucking saw blades." Gaz then turned on her laptop and turned on her program. "I've almost got this thing with AI to make corrective decisions too."
"So, still got plans for Game Design for college?" Dib asked.
"Yes." Gaz said simply.
"And Dad doesn't bitch you out for that? I mean it's not sciencey, but more artistic." Dib moaned, knowing his father was always easier on Gaz than he was on him.
"Guess being the youngest and a girl is paying off. Even the most clueless of fathers dare not upset their little princesses too much." She said knowing that was what Dib was thinking and that it would piss him off even more.
"Shut up." He said as he turned on his CD player.
"Can't you play something else?" Gaz moaned. "It's so wimpy boo fucking hoo..."
"And you listen to much the same stuff." Dib said back, knowing that Gaz was not foolish enough to beat him up while he was driving. That could kill them both.
"Nah. It's nothing the same. Disturbed and Korn aren't like AFI or Linkin Park." Gaz said.
Whatever lets you sleep at night. Dib thought. "Driver picks the tunes, passenger shuts her yap." He said as they turned onto the school's parking lot.
"Whatever." Gaz said as she put her headphones on and tuned him out.
Once they had arrived, she had gotten out, opened up her umbrella and walked down to the school where the robotics team instructor was waiting to see what she had come up with. Dib had bent down and got his backpack and headed in, rain pounding on his head. I just had to forget my umbrella at home... He moaned in his mind as he headed towards his first class, history. As he sat down and the bell for class to begin rang, he could hardly think that if handled by a different teacher in a way truer to the events as they happened and not just a teacher reciting the heavily redacted and watered down textbook word for word, this class may be interesting. In his paranormal investigations on cryptozoological phenomenon and in ghostly apparitions, history as it was was very important. When was this first seen, what was it like then, were often looked through when trying to figure out a monster's history and if there would likely be more than one of them or if a spirit would have felt wronged in some way and could not move on. The teacher had begun to start to talk about the first arrival of the English in the New World when he found his face in his book and began to fall asleep.
In his dream he could see a red space ship come closer and closer to the spot where he stargazed and an alien with a girlish but aggressive voice called out to him. He tried to call back to her when he felt the buzz of his phone in his pocket. "Huh? What?" He said looking around.
"Mr. Membrane, do I bore you? Does the genocide of the Native Americans not merit your concern?" The teacher said annoyed, tapping his foot at Dib.
"Huh? Oh." Dib said, realizing he had woken up by the phone's text and disturbed the class. "Sorry, I didn't get to sleep until very late last night." He apologized.
"Well that isn't an excuse for falling asleep in this class." Mr. Binns, a gaunt and elderly man said looking at the pointy haired teenager with an annoyed face. "In my day you'd have gotten a caning for falling asleep in class, but now you have to go to the guidance counselor's office."
Dib placed his face in his hands. "Can't you just beat me with a cane?" Having been sent there many times for his ideas going through school and going through the state's program to help seniors plan for post secondary education, he had had enough of the guidance counselor's office.
"Believe me, I'd prefer that as well, but rules are rules." He said with an annoyed voice as he handed Dib the hall pass. Seeing that he could take as long as he wanted to get there as long as the books said he had shown up, he checked the text that had woken him up.
"Mothman, I have some interesting photographs from Voyager. Due to budget cuts, the only guy working there has been there since it launched back in the 70's. All I have to do is get him a bottle of bourbon and he lets me have as much access as I want. Something took it but it's still sending back pictures. I need to talk over with with you more when you get off school. I've sent an email with the first picture. This is bigger than the Wow signal."
Reading this, Dib opened his email and saw what looked like two aliens talking. One looked to be about Gaz's height with one that appeared to be much taller than the other. "Bigger than the Wow signal indeed." He said, eyes widening at the picture.
"You know better than to look at lewd pictures on school networks." The receptionist said as Dib handed her the pass.
"I wasn't looking at that!" Dib said. "But no, I got sent here-"
"You know the drill." She said bored as Dib sat down and awaited his first lecture of the day.
So how was that? Good? Bad? Short? Long? Let me know in a review. I did put a few bits of math in there based off where Voyager 1 really is at the time of posting which is over 13 billion miles from Earth, but still a fraction of a light year away. And the history teacher so boring one can fall asleep, well if you're a Potterhead, you'll see where I got the name. And so you know, The Wow! signal was a strong narrow band radio signal received on August 15, 1977, by Ohio State University's Big Ear radio telescope in the United States, then used to support the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. And yes, history does play a lot in cryptozoology and ghost affairs. Just some things I've picked up over the years. But other than giving you a lesson on all the references and real world math, remember to read (well you just did) and to review. Ciao for now,