I don't own Invader Zim okay? Sorry I haven't been updating as much as I would like but to quote Meatloaf "Life is a lemon and I want my money back." Great song to play when you're pissed off at how your life is turning out. I did at least get to see the Enter the Florpus movie and loved it. But enough of this A/N, on with the fic!
Dib sat in the reception area of the guidance counselor's office looking around annoyed. This was just a petty punishment by a new counselor who had issues with where she grew up and was taking them out on him just because he dared to question her true motives and what she herself was running away from. Having sat through enough of these sessions in his school career, Dib had learned a lot about psychology and how to get them off his case.
As he sat in the cold, uncomfortable plastic chair, he looked around. This was just going to be nothing but Miss Marshall trying to live vicariously through him and try to get credit with his father for "fixing the problem Membrane child". As he looked up at the clock, noticing it seemed to move slower than it should, he heard the door open.
"Yes, I'm here to speak with a counselor as was requested." Tak said.
"Sit over there." The receptionist said disinterested as she looked at the books. "Miss Marshall has an appointment with Dib there. Being crazy again or something. Anyway, she's booked this period so I'll see who can take you."
Tak smiled and sat next to Dib. Interesting, the human I saw in the forest near the landing site is named Dib and goes to this school. "So, you're Dib huh?" Tak said looking him over.
"That's the rumor. Take it you haven't heard the other names?" Dib sighed. He wasn't sure what Tak thought of him, what their first known interactions were in the previous class.
"I'm new here. I mean I heard a few people call you big head, but honestly, I don't get it. Are you smarter than the rest?" Tak said.
"Huh? You mean you don't physically think my head big?" Dib asked in joyful amazement.
"Not that much bigger than anyone else's I've seen. That's why I assumed they were making fun of your intelligence as a way to cope with their inferior brains." Tak said. I have to gauge if this human will be a threat to us or was just in the wrong place with the wrong time with that female. He is approaching the completion of sexual maturity it seems from my biological scanning of the humans in this Skool place. I have heard many of these stink monkeys talk about various forms of what I can guess to be mating in the halls and he was alone late at night with a female. Heading to the woods to 'make out' as many call it isn't uncommon.
"Wow, there's been only one other person who didn't insult my head and that was Gretchen." Dib said. "My own sister calls me some of the same things the rest of the skool kids do."
"And Gretchen was throwing notes to you in English class there." Tak said.
"You saw that? I hope the teacher didn't..." Dib sighed.
"We may have to start Shakespeare here soon and god forbid she picks a Romeo and Juliet reading seeing that. She'd be the type to pick us to read the lead roles after seeing that." Dib said.
"Anything wrong with Gretchen? Are you dating her?" Tak asked, trying to get to know at least one of the humans she had first run across the night before.
"She's a friend. She wants to go out with me but I don't feel the same about her. Besides I'm planning to head off far away for college and don't want to crush a girl like that or hold her back and force her to follow me. She's thinking of going to dental school or taking up a modeling offer." Dib said as Miss Marshall opened the door.
"Dib Membrane?" She called as Dib got up.
"That's my cue. Wonder if I can get more time getting lectured by Miss Marshall after today." Dib said with a sarcastic smile that made Tak laugh.
"Good luck with that." Tak waved cordially as she looked back at the receptionist who looked at a magazine with a lackluster care on her face.
"Good to see you are making conversation with the new girl. It can be so tough to come to a new school. You didn't start talking about nonsense to her like that paranormal crap did you? No Flatwoods Monsters or anything like that?" Miss Marshall said sternly. "You do know as part of my training I can recognize mental disorders like schizophrenia or sociopathy..."
"Like the displacement you are displaying towards me and not your childhood in West Virginia?" Dib said raising an eyebrow. "As part of my paranormal research I have to figure out who may or may not have seen or had something to them and who may be mentally ill themselves."
"Oh you're much too young for that..." Miss Marshall said dismissing Dib. "It takes years of study and training to know that. I worked very hard to be able to see this in teens myself."
"Amazing what you can learn before college when your father is the great Professor Membrane and you don't tell him the real reason you want to study psychology. He thought it would help him understand a so called 'dream or hallucination' he had where he was sent to a very tough alien prison. Just don't go talking to him about my grandfather apparently. Nice way to get him to start saying "Luke chapter 15 verses 11 through 32" a lot... I only went there once and it got kind of scary..." Dib said.
"You kind of went rambling there. And with as much as your father works, I wouldn't be surprised if he's using that to show up a religious father he left at a young age. Seems typical there. But we aren't here to discuss your father's obsessions and neurosis, but your future. Although it gives somewhere to go if I wanted to do a dissertation of heredity and mental illness." Miss Marshall said.
"Go use someone else for some sort of thesis, not like I don't get roped into experiments by my dad anyway." Dib said. He was already annoyed he had to spend 4 weeks getting lectured by her, he was not about to censor himself, even if he lost study hall for the rest of the year. He was one of the top students in the school, so they wouldn't kick him out for sassing the counselor.
"Yes. Let's drop this discussion and save it for another time shall we?" Miss Marshall said with an angry, saccharine smile. "Let's start with the closest of the schools that has accepted you, MIT..."
"Massachusetts Institute of Technology?" Dib said looking up.
"Yes, it's heard to have a fantastic partnership with your father's labs. I know cost is not a factor for you for a myriad of reasons, so what drew you to this school?" She asked.
Dib saw this as his opening to get under her skin. "Location."
"I see, many students want to get out of their home towns when they graduate and go to college far away. Is there a particular reason here?" She asked sweetly.
If you wanted to yell at me for wanting to search the Appalachians for some of the famous cryptozoological lifeforms there, I'm so going to get under your skin with stuff from a wizarding book series I read... Dib smirked. "Well Mount Greylock is in Massachusetts..." He began.
"And you do go out to the forest often to observe the skies, at least it says so in your profile. Have an interest in hiking?" She asked.
"No, I want to find the famous American wizarding school and see thunderbirds, horned serpents, wampus beasts and pukwudgies." Dib said.
"Pukwudgies?" Miss Marshall asked looking at him confused.
"Yeah. They're based in native folklore from the area. Pukwudgies are short, grey, large-eared creatures. They are distantly related to the European goblin and have been known to both help humans and play tricks on them. Pukwudgies hunt with their poisonous arrows. Despite this they are associated with those with healing hands and since my mother was a genius ER surgeon before she was brutally murdered, their magic may be able to help me bring her back." Dib said, knowing he was going to get her really angry.
"You just said all of that to piss me off didn't you?" Miss Marshall said.
" Pukwudgies are as crazy as you call the Mothman, Flatwoods monster or Bigfoot, even though with that one there has been sightings GLOBALLY." Dib said. "You're just pissed my interest in the paranormal of that region does not match yours and your issues with where you grew up. I mean I have father issues too, and if the theory is true it runs in the blood, but I have my own life to live." Dib said back, fed up with years of being treated crazy when all it did was motivate him to learn more about the paranormal and various theories to back up his stance so any open minded scholar could at least think about it.
Seeing that Dib knew he had gotten under her skin and determined not to let him undermine her authority, she looked at him and said, "Well before we make a decision, I think we need to have some self esteem discussions. There's bound to be some deep seeded issues that you need to work on if you have had a file this large from you time here in Skool." Miss Marshal said. "Same time same place tomorrow." She handed him a hall pass.
"Thanks." He said simply as he took it and headed out the door.
"So, what did she want with you?" A voice said from beside the door.
"Tak?" Dib asked in surprise turning to see her waiting for him.
"Nothing of real importance. Just trying to dictate my life. As if I didn't have enough of that at home..." He sighed.
"My appointment was pretty quick. Just had some really touchy feely guy tell me about how I shouldn't feel bad about coming to a new Skool, all that usual stuff." Tak said. "You know where the cafeteria is? Says I have lunch next." She looked at her schedule.
"I have lunch next too." Dib smiled, "I'll show you the way. So where did you come from?"
"Just what does that mean?" Tak asked, ready to defend if he saw through her disguise.
"Nothing!" He pleaded. "Just where did you go to school before you came here?"
"Homeschool." Tak said simply. With this she could easily throw someone who would want to check her background off the trail. "My parents didn't think the school system where I used to live adequate enough. I would say so myself if they couldn't see my genius..." Tak said, memories of her time on Dirt popping up in her mind.
"I know that feeling." Dib sighed. "I just can't bury myself in a video game like my sister over there and ignore it all." He motioned to Gaz playing her Gameslave 4 by the water fountain.
"Your sister?" Tak asked looking over at Gaz.
"Yeah. Year younger than me and top of her class too despite being hooked to the games all the time." Dib said looking at her.
Gaz looked up at her and to Tak and back down the hallway. "So, you get sent to the counselor's office again?" Gaz asked.
"Yeah." Dib said rolling his eyes.
"Dad's going to love hearing about that." She said simply.
"Miss Marshall is very ambitious. May want to try to psychoanalyze Dad." Dib said.
"Good luck with that one...way that man acts at Christmas time with mall Santas..." Gaz said. "So who's the new girl?"
"I'm Tak. I happen to have a few classes with your brother who is showing me to the cafeteria." Tak smiled, wanting to get to know Gaz as well to see if she'd be a threat. She could tell that Gaz was a forceful and intelligent human who could probably strategize well.
"Hi Tak." Gaz said simply. "Well Gretchen is going to be crushed." She laughed.
"Come on, I just went to prom with her as friends last year!" Dib pleaded. "Why can no one let that go?"
"Because she was one of the rejects in the corner until puberty hit her and her father finally removed her braces. Now she's a social butterfly with the beauty of a goddess so she attracts everyone's desire in the petty vain social structure of a place like Hi-Skool. And that social butterfly wants Mothman." Gaz said. "I heard what your computer buddies call you online and it fit my metaphor" She said with a dark smile. "You may want to try closing your door better."
"I still stand by my why can't people let that go comment." Dib said.
"Because she's popular now and likes you and no one likes you so they're confused." Gaz said.
"Stupid." Dib said.
"Don't need to tell me." Gaz said. "Now while you may have lunch and no one cares if you show up to that, I have to get to graphic design class."
"See you." Dib said as Gaz walked away ignoring him.
Tak noted this interaction in her mind. It would be valuable information to the Tallest. It seemed the species was very close minded and focused on vain things and had a social structure based on appearances. Teachers and those older than you were never to be questioned, even if they were wrong and could punish you. She followed Dib to the cafeteria and looked around. "So this is the cafeteria." She said.
"Gross I know." Dib sighed. "That's why I never get anything made here. Just the chips and snack foods."
"Snacks?" Tak said as she looked over to the lunch line.
So how was that? Good? Bad? Short? Long? Let me know in a review. In my own personal headcannon, Professor Membrane's father was a pastor who was so dogmatic on his beliefs like Membrane is with science rules and how they need to be. You can see Professor Membrane talking himself into thinking he's just hallucinating everything alien in the Enter the Florpus movie, so you can tell he makes reality fit his dogma not the other way around. Luke 15:11-32 is the prodigal son story and father issues abound there. And I made a ton of Ilvermorny references in the part about Mount Greylock (a real place by the way) when Dib sassed the counselor. I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and think he'd get along with Luna Lovegood a lot... But I digress, remember to read (well you just did) and to review. Ciao for now,