Part 8: Who Stole the Game Slave?


The courtroom was packed.  Absolutely everyone, it seemed, had shown up for the trial, including all the characters from the show I haven’t stuck in here yet.  There was Bloaty, the Swollen Eyeball members, Sergeant Shnooky, The Poop Dog, Slabrankle, Bill from the FBI, Shunk, Count Cocofang, Steve Ressel, not to mention every other character in Jhonendom, like Nny, Devi, Squee, Sickness, Tenna, Wobbly Headed Bob, Nail-bunny, and, your friend and mine, Happy Noodle Boy filling the seats in the audience, though the Happy Noodle Boy was quickly detained and dragged from the room, screaming something about hamster lint and Spaghetti-O’s. 

Among the new faces, Dib also recognized a few familiar ones like Tweedle Red and Tweedle Purple, Butterfly Bitters, the pigeon and for some reason the little doorknob was there too.  There was also a girl there with longish, dark, auburn hair and blue eyes, sitting by herself typing busily away on a laptop.

“I don’t remember seeing you here before,” Dib said approaching her.  The girl just smiled at him mysteriously.

            “Don’t mind me, I’m just another casual observer,” she said with a wink and turned back to her typing.  She seemed nice enough, so Dib hopped in the seat next to her, deciding to stay out of morbid curiosity.  After all, the trial was his idea, no matter how much he regretted it now.

In the midst of the large crowd stood a high judge’s bench at which Gaz sat, tapping her finger impatiently, just itching to order some executions, and Zim stood below with his axe just waiting to carry them out.

“Be quiet!” Gaz bellowed banging her gavel, and the chatter gradually died down.  “Read the accusations!” she said after a moment and Zim promptly unrolled a long scroll and read as follows:


The Queen of the Gamers,

Retired to her chambers

Some vampire pigs ready to slay

But the bug-eyed Knave

Stole her Game Slave

And took it right away


“Call the first witness,” the Queen ordered.

“Wait a minute!” Iggins, who was draped in chains, interrupted, “Don’t I get to make a plea?”

“Like it’ll make a difference,” Gaz replied, “let’s just get this over with so we can get to the sentencing.”

Zim’s ruby eyes skimmed the scroll.  “This court calls the Mad Hatter to the stand!”

Just as the name was called, from the back of the room came a loud clattering like the sound of dishes being broken, and GIR appeared in the doorway and trotted up to the witness stand with a teacup in hand.  The pale gray robot looked around as if it didn’t quite know what it was doing there, until it spotted Zim.  “Hi!” he smiled pleasantly.

“GIR, what are you doing in that ridiculous outfit?” Zim demanded, and Dib gave a tiny snort of laughter.  Like you should talk he thought smugly.  “Take off that hat!” Zim commanded.

“’Kay,” GIR complied and set the hat on the ground pulling out a can of whipped cream, and proceeded to squirt the entire contents into his mouth, half the substance filling his cheeks, the other half drooling out the side of his mouth, and he flicked his tongue around trying to slurp it back up.  “Want some?” he offered the can to Zim.

“Er, no thanks,” Zim said, turning a little bit greener than he already was.  “I just want to ask you a few questions.”

“Ooooo!  Am I on a game show?” GIR asked, enthused.

“No, GIR, you’re at a trial.”

The robot smacked a hand down on an imaginary buzzer.  “I’ll take ‘Things You Find in Your Belly-button’ for $300!”

“NO GIR!” Zim exploded, “You’re not on TV!  Now stay focused!”

When the mechanical one didn’t say anything else, Zim nodded and puffed out his chest importantly.  “Alright, now te-... GIR? Why is there a monkey on your head?”

GIR glanced cluelessly up at the March Hare sitting on top of his metal skull.  “Uhhh... it’s enjoying the view?” he suggested.

“Never mind,” Zim exhaled loudly, “just give us your evidence.”

The robot dug around in his pockets and pulled out his empty hands.  “Don’t have any.”

“Are you sure?”

“Um, I mighta put it in my hat.”  GIR started pulling objects out of the over-large top hat left and right.  Soon he had a pile of junk stacked as high as he was, and Zim walked over and sifted through it.

“GIR!  What are you doing with my molecular splicing ray?” Zim said, pulling a foreign looking object from the pile.  “I’ve been looking everywhere for this!”

“I used it to make lemonade,” he grinned innocently.

“Sure you did,” Zim murmured, glancing up at Gaz who was tapping her gavel dangerously.  He hurried on, “If you took this, then did you also take the Queen’s Game Slave?”

“Am I under oats?” GIR asked.

“Um, I think you mean oath, GIR, and no, you’re not.”

“Can I be?  Pleeeeeease?  Please please please PLEASE?”

Zim groaned, “Oh, I suppose so.”

“Yay!  What do I win?”

“You don’t win anything.”

“Aww,” GIR sighed disappointedly.

“Now answer the question please.”

“What question?”

A rather large vein was starting to throb on Zim’s forehead.  “Did you take the Game Slave?” he got out through gritted teeth.

After about five minutes of excruciating, gear grinding thought, GIR finally answered, “Nope.”

“Do you know who did take it?”

“Uh, magical game gnomes?” he offered.

“Don’t be ridiculous, GIR, everyone knows game gnomes are extinct,” Zim sniffed.

“Er… Poodles with hairnets?”

“Well, that is a possibility,” Zim agreed thoughtfully, “but I rather doubt it.”

“Then I dunno.”

“Alright, GIR, you can stand down,” Zim said, and GIR looked at the floor, trying to figure out just how to do that.  “I mean you can leave now,” Zim added irritably, “and take that monkey with you.”

“Okay, bye!” GIR bounced away, but not before the March Hare could hurl the empty can of whipped cream at Dib who just barely missed getting whacked.  (What IS it with Dib and that monkey?)

“I’d say ‘off with his head’ but I doubt he’d miss it,” Gaz muttered.  “Call the next witness.”

Zim unrolled his scroll again.  “The next witness is the Dormoose!” 

Conveniently enough, the Dormoose was already on the stand, being one of the things GIR had pulled out of his hat.  “Now, Mister Dormoose,” Zim sucked in a breath and paced back and forth, “tell the court what you know about this in your own words.” 

The moose of course just sat there.

“Hmm, yes I see, very interesting,” Zim rubbed his chin.  “Did you get that down, jury?” he glanced over to where about a dozen pigs sat writing on slates.

“Got it!” answered a few.

“Um, how do you spell that?” asked one.

“With two 7’s I believe,” answered another.

“OINK!” exclaimed a third.

Dib crossed his arms and slumped down in his seat.  “This is ludicrous,” he grumbled.  The way this trial was going he’d be stuck in this crazy land forever with these lunatics.

“Now would you like to elaborate on that, Mister Dormoose?” Zim went on.  The moose was perfectly silent. 

Zim bent forward.  “Uh-huh… yes, go on,” he nodded as if listening intently, then his features narrowed in anger.  “What do you mean that’s all you know?  You must know more than that!  I couldn’t get you to shut up a minute ago, and now you don’t know anything?  You’re withholding evidence, aren’t you!”  Zim jumped up on the witness box and regarded the toy threateningly.  “I’m warning you, speak up vile moose thing, or else I’ll-…” he trailed off, his eyes bugging out in fury.  “What!?  How dare you speak to me like that!  Now you will pay!  Prepare to face my mighty wrath of DOOM!!”  The next instant, the alien and the Dormoose were locked in a savage brawl on the floor. 

Dib wasn’t sure which was more pathetic, the fact that Zim was fighting with a toy moose, or the fact that the moose seemed to be winning.  He considered sneaking away while everyone was distracted, but this was just too good to miss.

Gaz pounded her gavel, startling everyone.  “Would you get on with it!” she demanded.

“Of course,” Zim said, picking himself up and adjusting his bunny hood which had gotten knocked askew.  “Have you anything left to say, Mister Dormoose?”

The moose just sat there, then it calmly flopped over.

“This witness is finished, your Majesty,” Zim announced.

“Good.  Off with his head!” the Queen ordered, then added, “And off with his antlers, too,” and the Dormoose was plucked up by a guard and taken away.

Zim looked back over at the jury box and asked, “Do we have a verdict?”

“Wait a minute!” Dib jumped up, once more ignoring his better judgment, and stalked to the front of the courtroom.  “You can’t have a verdict, you don’t even have any evidence yet!”

Zim gritted his zipper-esque teeth.  “Silence, Human!”

“But you can’t just… Er, you can’t… I mean it’s not…I…” Dib let his sentence pitter off, a confused look crossing his face.

Zim smirked, “What’s the matter, did you forget how to talk?” but Dib barely heard his snide remark, for at that moment he was feeling a little… funny. 

At first he thought it was just his nerves, but then nerves usually didn’t make you feel all tingly, did they?  But then what else could be making me feel so weird all the sudden?  It almost feels like I…

Dib filled with dread as he realized what was happening to him.  “Oh no, not again!  Not now!” he gasped, his voice filled with panic.

“Torque!” Zim yelled as Dib unexpectedly tried to make a beeline for the door, and Torque stuck his spear in his path, tripping him.  He lifted Dib up by the arms where he struggled desperately in his grip.

“No one leaves the court until the trial is over,” Zim stepped up to the panicked boy, hands placed self-righteously on his hips.

Dib wriggled and jerked, trying to escape the card’s clutches, his eyes as wide as dinner plates.  “No, you don’t understand!  I’m--!” but there was no need for him to finish, for it was already too late.  Dib let out a tense whimper as, for absolutely no reason at all, other than just to mess up his life even further and make him even more miserable, he began to grow.  And grow.  And for a nice change of pace he grew some more, the crowd recoiling in horror as he shot up taller and taller.

But how!? Dib’s mind raged, How come my size is changing again?  I didn’t even eat or drink anything!  So, what?  It just starts going off by itself now!?  Man, I HATE this place!!!

He stopped growing just short of the roof, at least avoiding bumping his head this time, though it was a small consolation seeing as how the next second his hair got caught in a ceiling fan.  After many tearful attempts, he managed to untangle it, then glanced down nervously, realizing that every pair of eyes in the room was trained up at him.  

“Eh heh heh…” Dib chuckled nervously and flashed one of his patented sheepish grins.  Could this be anymore humiliating? he thought as the crowd began muttering amongst each other. 

Tweedle Red sniffed, crossing his arms resentfully. “Hmph.  He’s not so tall,” he remarked to Purple.

Gaz drummed her fingers uninterestedly and yawned, seemingly the only one unfazed by Dib’s dramatic growth spurt, while Zim sneered up at her, his black claws clutching the handle of his axe.

“Shall I chop him back down to size, your Majesty?” he asked, the eagerness practically sizzling in his voice.

Gaz considered this.  Dib had annoyed her quite a bit already, and now he was holding up the trial, which had been his dumb idea in the first place.  And to top it off, he’d left a big snarl of black hair in her newly installed ceiling fan.  “No,” she said finally, “too messy, and I had the janitor executed last Thursday.”

“Then can I just kick him for a while?” Zim inquired and began kicking at Dib’s foot, making little Irken grunts of conquest as he did.  It didn’t hurt, but it did look pretty stupid.

“Do you mind?” Dib responded in a mildly bothered tone, suppressing the urge to kick back (and smiling secretly at the mental image of the Zim shaped hole in the wall it would most likely yield if he did).

“Never mind that,” Gaz said, clearly becoming (more) impatient, “just call the next witness.”

Zim gave Dib a final swift blow to the ankle and sauntered pompously back to his place, Dib tilting his head and narrowing an eye at him as he went, fighting the oh-so tempting urge to just reach down and squish Zim’s little green head between his thumb and index finger like a marshmallow Peep. 

Zim picked up the scroll again and skimmed the names.  “The next witness is... oh, jeez,” he made a little disgusted noise before he called out, “Dib Membrane!”