Power Vacuum @otherealmwriter
Chapter 16

I do not own Invader Zim okay? I know it's been awhile since I updated this story, and I have updated many of my other ones in other fandoms but hey, that's how things go sometimes. Between work, school and inspiration on this being weak at certain times, it takes me a little longer to update than planned. Anyway, enough of this A/N, on with the fic!

"I thought you said we could escape! That you could get us out of here! That the humans didn't have things like this!" Purple yelled as he looked from Zim to the moaning form of Red in the back seat.

"The humans no!" Zim said as he placed his foot to the floor of the van, hoping in some vain attempt that somehow he could force the engine to break free of this ray and this minivan become escape vehicle powered by an antimatter core would survive the damage of a fall from the height of low flying small aircraft. "But they must have some allies that have better technology than them."

"Well I thought you knew everything about Dib's operation." Purple yelled wanting to throttle Zim. It was almost as if it was a betrayal to him. Zim had been cooped up in those labs for over 20 Earth years and he should have known something. Or did he just really give up and read nothing but old magazines for two decades.

"Oh boy, let me see what you can do when you are locked in a tube for 20 of Earth's years with nothing but Dib growing up through that awful thing humans call puberty. You should have seen the pitiful beard he was proud of when he was 16 years old. This is nuts!" Zim yelled back.

"Resisty…." Red moaned as Purple banged his head on the dashboard in front of him in frustration. They almost had it. They had a way to try and get out of this place and now they were back where they were started, only worse because they were in the enemy's hands. Purple looked over at Zim who just sighed and looked around like he didn't care. Just what did they do to him if he's like this. He wouldn't stop annoying us all those years ago now he's helping us escape and we are captured and he'll likely face a worse fate than before here. Zim has changed. Purple thought as the desert passed by under them, coming to a stop in the middle of the Area 51 grounds where Dib in a wheelchair after insisting he greet the captured Irkens and that was the only way the medical staff would allow it, and a few guards stood awaiting their capture.

"Finally. Revenge and I have them all…." Dib growled under his breath so no one could hear him.

Ceus and Sizz-lorr looked around the throne room. It was kept clean and stocked with snacks that Red and Purple were known to have loved but it was not what was needed to get the Empire back on track. No televisions, no screens, no computers, nothing that would help them. At least that Ceus could see. "Sizz-lorr, do you see something that could help us assess the state of the Empire?"

"No, just snacks and thrones. And like Red and Purple stayed here much since Operation Impending Doom II." Sizz-lorr sighed. "I need to have a new manager at Shloogoroth's though."

"That is important!" Ceus said floating over to Sizz-lorr and hugging him.

"Uhhhhhhh…" He said looking around with a slight blush. He never in his life was used to affectionate contact. He knew Ceus was a well-respected scientist herself and thought she would be more professional and a little more mature than that. Well I know my co Tallest will be a spaz but at least capable unlike Purple…. "Why are you agreeing with me?"

"Because like you said, it is important." She said turning from overly affectionate spaz to regal authority figure. "Rumors move faster than light and right now it's not good. We believe that the Massive is destroyed. The Capitol ship of this mighty and powerful Irken Empire ruined ON PURPOSE by a race that is good at nothing but destroying themselves and leaving their planet in a mess. I mean that is what we have from the Grey's reports and they are sick freaks. The Venetians are using them just to help replenish their dwindling populations, seeing as they look like the most appealing members of the human race anyway. But most species just up the shields as they pass by. Not knowing why it takes them much longer to send probes to the edge of their solar system than it does for most of us to pass that wild planet." Ceus droned on.

"I think some of our data has their Voyager 2 probe at 11.6 billion miles from their planet." Sizz-lorr said as he found the computer and looked up the data banks on Earth. He had been there to get Zim and knew just what she was talking about when it came to wild and uncivilized and to think that one of the humans as able to intentionally take down the Massive was insulting to his pride as an Irken, even if he thought that Operation Impending Doom II was not needed.

"See? Pathetic!" Ceus laughed smugly. "But they had to have help. From someone who really does not like us. And that is why I want Shloogoroth's to have a good manager and running well." Sizz-lorr looked at her curiously. "Because it is on Foodcourtia and ALL races in the Empire and this part of the galaxy. Whatever race is behind this is bound to be yelling about it from everywhere. They will want EVERYONE to know they had such a dig at the Irken Empire. They won't care that some will see it unethical to use ones so far behind us to do their dirty work…."

"MEEKROB!" Sizz-lorr groaned. His memory on the planet and what made him become manager of Shloogoroth's in the first place rang deep in his mind. "There is bound to be others, Resistance movements and such. I had heard some Vortians mention their desires to regain their independence while I was still the manager at Shloogoroth's."

"And without a capital ship, we will be seen as weak. The Massive may have been impractical in some spots but it was a symbol of power and symbols have a lot of meaning. It gave the people hope and pride. We need to keep the balance of power." Ceus said as she tried to make sense of their next move.

"I will promote Gashloog here and he can take over as interim manager and I guess we can have some cadets working things in the meantime. As a temporary assignment they won't need to be reencoded so they won't throw a fit about a perceived demotion." Sizz-lorr said. "But they will report if they hear any rumors of the Irken Empire. Any at all. We must know who is spreading what and where they are hearing it from."

"Agreed." Ceus said. "Do you think we should arrest those spreading the rumors?"

"Not yet." Sizz-lorr said. "It will confirm it in the eyes of those who may be doubting it and think we are still strong. Why arrest a guy if he's blowing smoke up everyone's ass about something that everyone knows couldn't possibly ever never ever totally happen unless there's a chance it might have happened." Ceus nodded. "Like you said rumors spread faster than light. We do not want them to spread but we want them to be crazy and by arresting those who spread it innocently like they heard it from a civilian sources lowly then we reinforce the ideas that may be out there."

"I see what you mean." Ceus nodded.

"But if someone is using it to recruit others to their side, openly, like a total idiot, then yeah arrest them because then you can say it is not because of the rumor but the rebellion idea." Sizz-lorr expanded on his notion.

"I like, I like." Ceus nodded. "You're a great tactician"

"No need to kiss my ass. Just get Gashloog here and select a few cadets to be employees. Tell them the stuff about eavesdropping for us and they won't be so angry at the job." Sizz-lorr said.

"Yes sir my Tallest." Ceus said kissing Sizz-lorr on the cheek.

"Dude, tone it back, we're on the same level." He blushed.

"Sorry." Ceus said. "But I have always had some notion that Red and Purple really liked each other and thought it was just a Tallest thing." She winked.

"I don't know WHERE you get ideas like that" Sizz-lorr said slightly disgusted "But no offense I see you as a good pragmatic domestic policy ally."

"None taken. I am just trying to be nice is all…." Ceus blushed. "I will try to see if I can find any idea where the Massive may be and find some proof of something."

"You do that." Sizz-lorr said. "I have Shloogoroth's to attend to if we are going to make it a place where we gather intel as well as a fast food restaurant."

Once the Resisty had brought Zim, Red and Purple back to the base, Dib had ordered them to his labs under heavy guard with a force field around a prison cell while he waited for Gaz to come back and let her have her revenge, just whatever that could be as Dib was not aware of any grudges she would have had that he would have. But whatever she did save him from dying from a snakebite and did come up with a great way to try and catch Zim and the Tallest after they escaped so it was the least he could do for her. Purple stared down Dib who just smirked and the game continued in each one's mind until Dib was given his medication to help treat the bite and he fell asleep. Noticing he was asleep Zim walked up to Purple and pulled him back. "I need to speak with you Purple."

"Just what?" He asked, noting Zim wasn't trying to break them out. He wasn't sure what he wanted from him but he knew that they were in a precarious position and had to act calmly if they were to at least make sure Red was going to be treated.

"The Resisty found and caught us. I noticed their leader talking to Dib when we were taken in here. The cuffs were not human. The stuff the guards had were not human. They were Vortian. Lord Nar was talking with Dib." Zim explained.

"But he has Meekrob powers, that apparently do not protect against snakebite…" Purple noted.

"Maybe but do you think that the Meekrob will let the Resisty be? Do they think you two are still alive? Have you been replaced?" Zim said.

Purple paused and thought when Rd spoke up. "No, Maybe, Maybe" He said.

"WHAT?" Purple and Zim asked.

"Think about it." Red moaned in pain as he turned to Purple and Zim "They were the second most powerful Empire after Irk. They aren't also entirely stupid to think that the conquered planets resisting us will take to them as well. They wanted their own autonomy back. Meekrob would not think Purple and I dead unless they could prove it and they can't or haven't tried and if the control brains can't contact us for a long period of time, they will assign new Tallest, even if it is interim. You don't leave a powerful Empire in chaos with no one to rule."

"You have any idea who they'd pick?" Purple asked.

"No clue." Red sighed. "Now go back to what you were saying. I need to sleep" Red snapped.

"No you don't" Red said as Gaz pushed her brother carelessly out of the way. "Welcome to flavor country Irken scum." She said flicking a cigarette into Zim's face.

"I didn't know you smoked." Zim said.

"Clove cigarettes but that's not the point." Gaz said. "You three have been a pain in my side and I will make you feel it!"

"We're doomed." Purple sighed.

"Yes." Zim agreed.

"UGGGggggggghhhhh" Red moaned.

So how was that? Good? Bad? Short? Long? Let me know in a review. I'm sorry for not updating sooner but honestly my inspiration was with other projects and forcing stuff does not work. Hopefully this summer I can get more in. Anyway remember to read (well you just did) and to review. Ciao for now,




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