THE GRID SHALL MAKE THE INTERNET OBSOLETE AND RULE US ALL… heehee, can't wait. This took a long time… and I blame basketball… because somehow… I got on a team? I'm… not sure how that happened exactly, but I am and it takes a horrendous amount of time I should like very much to take back. But I can't say 'no' to anything… and now a boring first attempt at a second chapter…

Chapter 2

Zim awoke from an inactive interval, something at least he refused to call human "sleep", with the sensation of his squeedilyspooch rumbling. Rumbling? It never… rumbled before. It stopped just as the thoughts began to enter his mind, but Zim still didn't take it the right way.

"GIRRR!" he screamed into the bowels of the transmission room.

Gir suddenly appeared with a, "Yes Master?"

"Gir. Did you put anything in those biscuits?!" Zim accused. "Something's toying with my insides!"

Gir gave him that typical look that meant he had no clue about the biscuits, he forgot about these kinds of things due to a defective memory and the dozens of occasions of making biscuits anyway.

"We gonna make some!" Gir finally decided to squeal.

"NO! Eerrgh, no, we're never making those YEAST filthies every again," Zim hissed.

SHOCK.

"What did you put in those biscuits, Gir? I demand to know!" the Irken growled menacingly to his oblivious servant. Gir breathed in, ready to tell him…

"WE'RE GOING TO MAKE BISCUITS FOR THE BISCUIT QUEEN!"

"GIR! Focus, you melodramatic FOOL!" Zim laced the words irately. "Remember we made biscuits? Like, a few hours ago, I guess? Did you poison them?! What did you do with them?!"

Gir shrugged, letting some drool emanate. He had no clue. Zim groaned. How could he keep up with such incompetence? He knew what a weakling he truly was now, but surely he possessed more competence than that of his robot. Or at least, he hoped. He had to get to the bottom of this before he surrendered to the thought this rumbling meant he was dying.

Zim sighed and initiated the command to watch Gir's recordings of all he saw from the past few hours he must've been out. He rewound the recording to three hours, expecting to play around the spot where they had been eating the biscuits, but found Gir occupying some live "cute" animal and perhaps killing it by accident. He kept rewinding to a surprising 9 hours and played it, watching Gir simply pour, put batter in the oven, light his grubby hands on fire, and then munch on the biscuits. He did nothing out of the ordinary. After about fifteen minutes later, Zim saw Gir catch a glimpse of himself bend over in unconsciousness as the light of his PAK died to a dark color. So that meant… he hadn't been comatose for just a couple of hours, he had been out for approximately a third of an earth day. The same amount of time a human could catch a healthy session of sleep.

Zim gasped in horror, and let Gir exit the program and return to his somewhat sense, running off without a care. Had he been SLEEPING? His squeedilyspooch rumbled again before he could do much about that dreadful thought. He clutched it, as to squeeze the growl away. Maybe this was a reaction to the biscuits alone, as he reacted to most earth food. But no, that couldn't be it. He had been forced to swallow those horrible things down his throat many times before by his robot or suffer his whines and it never made him do this. Actually, most allergic reactions to the earth food hadn't been happening lately even though they used to. Maybe he was dying. His entering-a-near-to-lifeless-state was happening so much more often and with every episode, the longer and more probability to happen again there was.

HE HAD TO FIX THIS! What would be the BEST place to learn about something like this, like earth diseases among large masses of filthy biengs?

"This walking with us everyday to Skool is getting kind of awkward Zim," Dib decided to pipe up as the Irken in disguise trailed beside him.

"Don't be ridiculous, Dib-monster. I've been doing this for the past two years on those few days I decide to keep my ingenious identity concealed! Surely by now you've grown accustomed to this just as you grew accustomed to not wanting to display my intestines to the rest of your idiot species," Zim said casually.

"… yeeeah," Dib mumbled sardonically.

"And even Dib-sister has," Zim said, jabbing a finger into the side of a teenage Gaz's head.

Despite Zim had trained to walk with the two of them for two years, he didn't outwardly show it well. Trespassing Gaz's personal boundaries was a risk of death. That meant laying a finger on her.

But she was engulfed in her game and didn't desire to see Zim in pain if it meant departing from her precious world of video games that separated enough from this terrible reality. She growled and swatted away his hand, murmuring something inaudible, but sure to be a threat on his life. Zim shrugged.

"Dib, I have a question for you to unavoidably answer," he stated instead.

Dib gave him an odd look. If this was about history, which the Irken had difficulty to not fuse with own, he was going to go against his vow to befriend the alien. He had enough of his learning his own race's triumphs and mistakes, most of which even glorified. He was going off the end with teaching an alien it.

"What, Zim?" Dib snarled, hunching over.

"I've been experiencing… changes," Zim said hesitantly.

Dib was almost horrified by the simple phrase. He could hear his dad, Professor Membrane, say the exact words when he was almost fifteen and it… didn't go well. Especially sentenced with science.

"I know nothing of Irkens growing hair in places I never want to imagine!" Dib made clear.

"Eehm, me neither," Zim replied naively. "I just… well, this doesn't mean YOU'RE ANY BETTER THAN I, but… does your squeedilyspooch sometimes… vibrate… a bit?"

Dib gave him a bored look.

"Zim… it kills me to say I have no squeedilyspooch," Dib answered in an apathetic tone.

"Fine…, eh, what do have around in the gut area?" Zim asked. Biology. He was acing it, as history, but it took an awful amount of brain-meats.

"A stomach?"

"Yes, that…thing. Does it vibrate… at times?"

"You mean, like rumble? Yeah, when I get hungry, I guess."

"When you get hungry?"

"… yes?"

"So… it's not a sure sign of… impending death?"

"If you starve yourself, yeah."

"Starve?"

"Not eat. Why all the questions?"

Zim twiddle his six gloved fingers together, nervous to tell his once enemy this personal information even if walked alongside him for two years.

"Nothing."

Dib shrugged and continued to walk. Gaz silently played her game and the Game Slave's volume was the same as her. Zim thought to himself. He was in disbelief. Irkens… ate, yes, but the requirement was unnecessary for survival. His squeedilyspooch couldn't have weakened to the point it needed lesser FOOD to fuel him. But he was winding down a lot lately. Lost in his thoughts, he trailed behind his alleged friend and his sister toward an ineffective government system of semi-education and continuous decentralization of the country… er, I mean High Skool.

Yes. Zim had been here this long. Thing was, he gave up on enslaving the planet, well, slightly. If given the blatant chance, he would bring the planet down to his clutches, but as for trying for this chance, no. He had given up since learning he was a… untouchable and deserted by his leaders. It hurt him. He didn't admit it to himself, but it sure hurt. But wasn't that an emotion? A HUMAN one? See, this was another reason he didn't go off devastating nations, he simply wasn't prepared until he could heal this accursed malady, whatever it was that had slowly encased him over the past weeks. So, seeing as that was the case, he needed help to live a peaceful human life as an alien on this filthy planet, the only safe place for him to be. This ailment had only begun weeks ago or so, but the years of being here were mostly because he had nowhere to go, he couldn't take over earth- he was a defective and useless. The Tallests made sure he knew that. He hated them. Being an Irken and now knowing he truly was banished, the only other planet that would accept him would be Foodcourtia, so he just continued to hide here. He had no choice. He got Dib after a year or so to be an ally in return to stop… well, as Dib saw, pestering his race. And so, he trusted him. That's all he could do. He trusted Gaz even, but only that she wouldn't show her findings if she murdered him, but just the 'murdering' part was a definite likelihood. Plus, she was handy. Believe it or not, he ran into human girls. I'm not saying any LIKED him, just maybe… kicked him sometimes, and Gaz, as powerful as she was compared to other females, still showed him how to avoid these attacks. He found he liked observing her.

He looked up from the cracked cement, failing to be… good, and stared up from behind the Dib-sister in curiosity. Why she liked 3-D graphics she could control on a hand-held so much, he had no clue, but- HEY. Erupting from her backpack was a bagged lunch. Quite useful. He was already creating plans on eating for sources of energy as to experiment, and although he wasn't certain he would have reactions to the food or not anymore, it was safer with the food brought from Dib's house, right? I mean, even the humans of the cafeteria had reactions to the High Skool's food. He needed that bag. A trade was not in order, for she was too occupied to be bothered by his needs. Would Dib feel betrayed if he stole it? Eh. What did Zim care? Very little.

Zim crept from behind, up to the opening of her backpack, gleaming over the safer experiment. He put two fingers around the edges of the cardboard paper and nipped it. He stepped back. Gaz felt nothing. He pulled a little harder another time, just to make sure. Nothing. So he slipped it out and stored in his pack, without as much as a glimpse from Gaz. Now, he had to evade her presence for the rest of the day surely, but hey, this day could be a successful day.

He backed away, feeling a twinge in his squeedilyspooch. Unlike the rumble, which shook his internal organ with growls like Gir and a chew toy, it felt like a dodge ball was relentlessly hitting it in directions it shouldn't be stretching to. His mind came with an involuntary answer to it. Guilt? Nooo, it could not be. He didn't care. And as he really honestly thought about, he didn't seem to care. He looked up to the female human, maybe to see if it would trigger the response again. Nope. Actually, different. He was allured into observing her again. He wasn't sure why, but it happened more and more. It hadn't come to mind it was part of the disease or anything. He noticed she was wearing a long hoodie, one that she covered most of her head and face with, and it slid past her hands, though for video-gaming they were rolled up her pale, thin hands, and somewhat down her waist. But that other piece of attire Zim couldn't quite remember was missing… oh, yes… pants. Either they were incredibly short or not existent. So that meant there was quite a lot of bare meat the Irken was "observing" on her legs. Wow. They looked… well, good?

Zim stared at Dib's legs. Nah, not as good. THIS MUST MEAN the disease was causing him to fantasize these affections of the Gaz-monster. But he didn't fight it. He rather enjoyed watching the bare flesh as it made its master's way to the High Skool, where the daily torture was to begin.