Precautionary Note: This chapter might be quite disturbing to some, especially Dib fans. Please read with caution.
Agitated, he quickly paced back and forth within the dark cell, one hand behind his back, the other moving around as he spoke.
"It's obvious she's been brainwashed, just by the way she acted, but, it just doesn't make sense. This whole thing doesn't make sense!"
He threw his arms up in anger and flopped onto the bottom bunk. His muscled cellmate looked to the leaner one, a humorous grin on his face.
"Who'da thunk? The leader of the rebellion is the brother of the Second-Captain, third most powerful of the entire empire! Now how come you never told anyone about your...relations?"
The two chuckled with each other, obviously having a good time teasing Dib, but soon quieted at the nasty glare they received.
It was the truth. He didn't know. Sighing, he let his head fall into the palms of his hands, his black hair falling all around him. He was truly at the bottom. His clothes were torn, he was stuck in jail, and Zim had control of the planet. The cracked lenses of his glasses bothered his hands, and in a huff he ripped them off his face and threw them across the cell. He sighed as they hit the floor and went back to staring at the bars that kept him in. What was going on? Why was he here? Why couldn't he remember anything that had happened in the last twenty years? He had learned he'd put together a rebellion, and had worked on defying the new empire, but why couldn't he remember it?
He again stood and went to lean against the bars, scratching the itchy beard on his chin.
"I gotta get out of here. I don't know how I got here, but I gotta get out."
He raked his fingers through his hair one last time and looked back up to his cellmates.
"That might be easier than you thought."
Confused, he followed their gaze to look down the hallway at a group of guards again heading toward the cell, keys in hand. He gasped and backed up a few steps. Now what was going on? They opened the cage and yanked Dib away, giving no explanation as to what was happening. They roughly pushed him forward and away from the cell he had stayed in. His cellmates looked on as he dissappeared into the dark depths of the hallway, and quickly made another mark next to many on the wall with a peice of chalk.
"There goes the last of the rebellion."
Dib looked ahead in fear as the long hallway continued to grow darker. The sounds and clatters of the prisoners before slowly faded away, and all that was heard was the rythmic drip-drop of dirty sewer water hitting the floor. Soon he was encompassed in pitch black darkness, and one of the guards had to pull out a flashlight to see where they were going. The air around them smelled of mildew and death, and was incredibly stuffy. Suddenly, as they walked passed one cage, Dib felt a hand reach out and grab onto his yellow shirt.
"Help me! Please help me!"
He swirved around to see a scraggly old man, who obviously hadn't eaten in weeks, reaching out and pleading with his eyes, which were swollen and pussy with disease. One of the guards raked out some pepper spray and shot it straight in the prisoner's face, who instantly recoiled and screamed out in pain. Dib nearly hurled at the sight, but was quickly dragged onward. Then they stopped, and he could hear the clatter of a cell being opened. Without warning he was shoved inside and they locked the door behind him. He instantly ran up and grabbed hold of the bars, which were covered in mold, and began yelling out at the guards who were now leaving.
"You can't keep me in here forever! I'll get out someday and when I do..you'll--you'll be sorry! You..can't..."
He slowly fell onto the dirty floor beneath him and couldn't hold back the tears any longer.
A week passed and business went on as usual. They had their share of rebel invasions, but ever since Dib had been taken in, these invasions were weak and harmless. The Second-Captain had forgotten about her brother, and Zim continued to rule in his tyrannian ways. He sat in his throne and tended to his demands, as his workers came up one by one with their various questions and problems.
"Your Highest Zim, some commonfolk have revolted again. What should we do?"
"Arrest them at once!"
"Mighty leader, I must take time off to tend to personal matters."
"Zim, sir, we have captured loyal rebellion followers. Orders?"
He would continue on like this for hours, meddling in the petty affairs of his kingdom, while enjoying all the luxaries of royalty. He couldn't have it any better.
She sat at her desk scribbling something on a peice of paper. Every once in a while someone would walk in and place another sheet in her tray, and walk out again. She sighed and got up from her chair, stretching her sour muscles, before looking out the window that lined her wall. She leaned against the sill and sipped at her coffee, gazing out at the bustle below. It was true she had forgotten about her encounter with Dib. He was now just another prisoner to her, and it wasn't her duty to deal with the prisoners.
After a moment of silence, she sat back down at her desk and continued on with her paperwork. It was the same schedule day in and day out, and it got quite tedious at times, but she knew it was all for the better of the Highest Zim.
"Doom-de-doom! Doom! Doo-doo-doom doom!" The little green dog hopped down the concrete hallways, passed the rows of cells. In his hands was a small drink, and he slurped it up through a straw. On either side of him the prisoners all reached out their hands and tried to grab at Gir, and he would every once in a while stop to give them a friendly and naive "hello", his little black eyes bobbing. He happily continued on his way and walked through the dark corridors, the silver zipper on his chest bouncing with his movements. Despite him no longer needing this costume, he seemed to quite like it, and wore it often.
Soon it began to grow dark around him as he went deeper into the jail, down to the solitary confinement where Dib had been thrown only a week ago. He had been given strict orders to never go down here, but, like always, he was never very good at listening to what he was told. His pace slowed as he entered the hell, and he looked around a little worriedly. His fake black ears fell to the sides of his face, and then perked back up upon catching the vague form of a figure in his cage.
He sat in the corner of his cage, arms wrapped around his legs, and slowly rocked back and forth, staring at the emptiness. He had eaten nothing since he was placed in here, and the bones were beginning to show under his flesh. He was surrounded in dead silence and darkness, and his sanity was slowly escaping through every opening in his body. When he heard the faint sounds of movement coming down the hallway, he shakily made his way over to the bars of his cage and grabbed hold, staring wide-eyed into the black abyss. He could just barely make out the form of a familiar green suit, slowly walking in his direction. Gir! It was that robot thing he had seen Zim around sometimes before! But, what was he doing here?
He reached out his hand and began to motion to the robot with a finger.
"Hey! Hey you there! Yeah, Gir is it?"
The little dog looked over as was spoken to, and cautiously walked over. He looked to Dib for a few moments before his little black tail wagged a bit.
"I know yooouuu..."
"Yeah, sure, whatever.."
Dib then looked down to notice the drink Gir held within his stubby paws, and his eyes widened in delight.
"Hey, can I have some of that?"
Gir looked to where Dib was pointing, and quickly hugged his cup to his small chest, turning away from the human.
"No! It's mine!"
"Oh come on! Please? Just a little?!"
He rather forcefully reached for the cup, but Gir quickly pulled it away. Frantic, Dib quickly grabbed a hold of Gir's tail and pulled him closer to get the cup.
"Come on! Let me have...the food!"
They struggled for a short few moments before Dib's grip on the cup faltered, sending its contents to fall to the ground with a splatter. The two stared at the scene in disbelief and Gir's eyes watered up, while Dib just sat speechless, having lost his only chance for nourishment.
He pounded the floor in anger repeatedly, causing some blood to form, but quickly pulled away and rubbed his now sore knuckles. He looked back up to Gir who was still tearing over his loss. But then he had an idea.
"Hey, you think you could do me something? Go find the keys to this cage, and bring them to me."
The little robot pointed his gaze up to Dib, confused, while wiping away a tear. He tried again to explain upon seeing Gir's confusion.
"You know, the keys! The thing I can put in this lock to open the door!"
Gir continued to stand there in silence, not understanding what Dib was asking. He sighed in frustration and tried once more to explain, being sure to use small simple words the robot would understand.
"The small shiny things with points! Do you understand?! Go get them!"
Gir squealed, finally understanding what Dib wanted, and quickly commenced to turn around and begin skipping back down the hallway. Dib waited for what seemed like ages, twiddling his thumbs and trying to ignore the awful pain in his stomach. But soon he could hear Gir's familiar humming and the wonderful clang of metal as he made his way back to the cage.
"Okay, good, good! Now hand em over!"
Gir began to do as Dib said, but then hesitated, remembering back to something Zim had said. He stood blank for a few moments, and then perked remembering what it was he had been told.
"Oh yeah, Zim said..I'm not supposed to give these to anyone down here."
Dib's heart sank at hearing this, but knew there must be a way to trick the robot.
"If you give me the keys..I'll--I'll..."
He paused while he tried to think of what could possibly persuade Gir to give him the ring of keys.
"Aha! Here, I'll give you these shoelaces! We can trade!"
He quickly began to untie the black shoelaces from his boots, and held them up for Gir to see.
The small robot stood mystified by the laces, and stared at them in awe.
With that simple word, Gir handed Dib his silvery treasure, and Dib in turn gave Gir the laces. Gir quickly skipped away, already managing to tie his arms up with his newfound toy. As soon as the dog was out of sight, Dib jumped in glee and fumbled the keys in the lock, trying to find which key would open this cage.
He became more and more desperate as each seperate key continued to fail, until he was down to the last one. He crossed his fingers and bit his lower lip as he sunk it into the lock, turning the handle. To his surprise and delight, he soon heard the clank of the lock slowly opening, and quickly threw down the key, squeaking open his barrier. He silently rejoiced as he stepped out of his hold, but quickly remembered that a guard could come down any moment. Quietly he tip-toed forward, hugging the moldy wall, and made his way out of the solitary confinement area.
He stopped just in front of two doors and creaked one open the slightest bit. Looking inside, he noticed the guards were not at their posts at the moment, giving him all the chance of escape. He took a deep breath, knowing he'd have to make a run for it, and also knowing his chances of getting out alive were slim. Shaking violently, he crouched just behind the door, preparing to run like he never had before.
In an instant, he bursted into the room ahead and away from the jail, breathing heavily, his clothes flying out behind him. He crashed into a pair of guards who were making their way back to entrance of the jail, sending them hurling to the ground.
"Hey, you get back here!"
Quickly one whipped out his walky-talky, yelling into it about Dib's escape, and moments later a mind-splitting alarm sounded off, illuminating the rooms and hallways in a bright red light. Dib ran on, his chest already heaving, and his legs feeling like jelly, threatening to fall out beneath him. He halted to a stop and gasped as he became surrounded by guards, and quickly looked for an opening of escape. He saw the smallest gap just ahead of him, and blindly pushed through, the guards right on his tail. Without even thinking, he instantly began heading toward Gaz's office, knocking over various tables and their contents to buy him time, his instincts pulling him on. He never really realized where he was going until he was there, and flew open the glass doors leading into the room.
She quickly stood from her desk, a shocked look on her face.
"What is going on here?! Guards!"
Dib fell onto his knees, knowing he had only seconds before the guards would show up.
"Gaz, you've gotta help me! Please, I--I'm begging you!"
Just as he finished his last sentence, the guards came crashing in and yanked him up from the ground, violently pulling his arms behind his back and bashing him across the head. More guards quickly surrounded the Second-Captain and blocked her from Dib, protecting her from his wrath. As he was draggedd away, the tears streamed down his face, mixed with blood.
"No! Don't let them take me back down there! Stop! No, Gaaz!"
She watched from behind as his voice slowly faded and the guards finally knocked him unconcious, bringing him back down to his fate. After the bodyguards checked in and made sure she was okay, she slowly sat back down in her seat, not sure what to make of what had just happened. Yes, Dib was only a prisoner to her now, and she had seen things like that happen to prisoners many times, but it was obvious this time something had gotten to her, something she hadn't felt in years. She looked down at the papers before her, and all went silent.