|The Greatest Story Never Told|
KOTAL KAHN'S OFFICE
When it comes to the well being of Twisted, there is no duty that is beneath Kotal Kahn. The Warrior God had always taken the recruitment of officers very seriously to the point that he always oversaw interviews and trials himself. Even if the day might once come where TASK grows so big and opulent that they have officers being recruited early day, Kotal Kahn will still likely supervise the procedures personally.
Today is no different and even more so because this happens to be quite a special case. An officer from a past age that was grandfathered into the organization? Most interesting indeed. After 'rescuing' the Irken invader from his bonds, Kotal Kahn dragged the tiny alien back to his office accompanied by the entirety of his Krew. There the might Huitzilopotchli sat upon his throne of skulls, surrounding by his chosen warriors and behind his surprisingly office like desk, it even had a name tag that proudly proclaimed him as 'Kotal Kahn. TASK Director'.
“So, Zim was it?” Asked the Aztec warrior whilst leaning on his desk having bid Zim to take a seat in front of him. “Tell me your story.”
"MY story? The story of Zim? Yes well, it all began back when I was just a tiny little Zim, hatched aboard an Irken birthing ship. Ha ha haaaa. I remember that cold unfeeling robot arm of my 'mother' like it was yesterday. SHE COULD NOT KNOW of the great DESTINY that lay ahead of the one known as ZIIIIIIIIM!!!!"
Enter a flashback of epic proportions. Guns. Explosions. Fires. Deaths of millions of worlds. A thunderous chant of billions of Irkens as they sing the national anthem of his people. Sadly this is all in Zim's head so we'll have to skip ahead to the part where he's back in reality with his eyes closed humming to himself. For about six minutes, actually! There was some really good parts though. Dib's head impaled on a stick and GIR turning into a planet-sized star destroying robot where amazing. Ha haaaa. One day, folks. One day.
"Foolish fools! It does not matter if Zim is on Irken, or on Earth! What matters is ZIM!!!! Only I shall be the one to lay waste upon the PITIFUL masses! EVERYONE WILL BOW TO ZIIIIIIIIIM!!!!!!" It takes him a moment of standing on his chair, fist raised to the ceiling before he realizes that only he alone shared that glorious flashback. Something that Kotal's face probably tells him wordlessly. "...I forgot to turn on the holoprojector again, didn't I?"
Not waiting for a response, Zim goes and starts dragging out bulky equipment aided by the robotic spidery arms of his PAK - the egg looking backpack attached to his spine. Where is he getting that equipment from? Why does it seem to be scattered around Kotal's office? Actually, we're better off not knowing the answers to these questions. There are more important questions to be asking...
It was in that moment that Kotal Kahn realized he had made a grave mistake. The Aztec deity leaned back on his throne of skulls and watched with half bewilderment and half horror how Zim went into a deep deluded trance of self gratification. Kotal didn't need Zim's projector to know what the Irken was thinking, he could figure out all he needed to know by simply looking at the invader's pleased smile. When at last Zim stands on his chair to unleash a loud proclamation, Kotal's only possible response is to simply sit there and blink.
Of all his chosen warriors its only Ferra who dares to break the silence caused by Zim's antics. “He funny!” Proclaims the little wild child before turning to Kotal Kahn. “Big boss, can we keep him? Torr and Ferra, we take good care of green boy!”
Not in any mood to be hearing stupidity in stereo, Kotal Kahn waves dismissively at Ferra, silently letting her know that he will come to a decision later. Eldergods, thinks the Aztec, they really let everyone into TASK back in the day didn't they?
“I see.” Says the Director whilst rubbing the bridge of his nose, eyes tightly shut as he feels an incoming headache. “Let's.. start from further along in time. Can you tell me of how did you came to be in Twisted and why or how did you ever become part of TASK?” Kotal then watches as how Zim begins to pick up things of equipment that appeared to be laying around his office and asks the obvious question. “What are you doing?”
It's lucky Zim is focused on what he's doing or he'd probably have words about someone calling him a boy. By the time he realizes he's being spoken to he's got half of something that looks incredibly dangerous sitting in the middle of the room with spikes and red, angry, flashing lights. "Huh? This? This is the holoprojector..." Not that Kotal seems interested in it. With a kick and a random part being thrown over his shoulder Zim returns to his seat. "SO. You want to know about TASK, ehhhh? Why they would choose someone as feared across the galaxy as ZIM for their RIDICULOUS army of /PEACEKEEPERS/?" He says this last part with a look of great disdain. The very word seems to make his skin crawl.
"THAT story began when my attempts at DESTROYING the DIB hadn't gone as well as I'd hoped. I decided that if I could not best him on his own world - I would defeat him on a neighboring world. What the HUMANS call a 'parallel world'. Buuuuuut I became bored with it and went looking for another world to ENSLAVE. Maybe an easier one with less technology. It was there that I first encountered the TASK. Having bested me in a GLORIOUS battle to the DEATH utilizing some of the FINEST in Irken engineering." See: Accident and Stolen Technologies. "They came to the obvious realization that Zim could teach them. Make them BETTER. So I was forced to come with them to the Twisted World so that I could join their ranks." Forced being the key word here.
"Upgrading their technology to superior Irken standards, Zim was such an inspiration that I was given light duties staying behind and guarding one of the most DANGEROUS beings to corrupt the multiverse - the Scotts. Unfortunately my inept SIR unit malfunctioned and released them after we had captured the last of them and released the horde back onto the streets and until they could be recaptured I was placed in the isolation chamber you released me from."
Leaning back Zim takes a moment to consider this, "Sure they used the word 'indefinitely' but such restrictions have never stopped Zim. Even with banished from Foodcourtia, the Zim finds a way." He smiles happily and wiggles his antennae at the Aztec. "Can I offer you some snacks, my Tallest?"
That is a nasty looking projector. And Zim didn’t explain why it seemed like he was pulling the pieces out of Kotal’s office, as if they had been sitting there all these time. No matter, there were many secrets about TASK that eluded Kotal, this one was naught but a foot note in one of the many. One of may mysterious that will be revealed to him once Gegoshi is no longer under Diablo’s yoke. “Don’t worry about it.” The Aztec says to the Irken in an attempt to get him to stop arming the projector, the last thing he needs is for office to explode.. again.
As Zim then goes to explain how is it that he came to be a part of TASK and his fateful arrival to Twisted, Kotal begins typing on his laptop to pull up the files where TASK might have some info stored about Zim. Everything that happened before he took command of the organization is haphazardly recorded, most of everything still infuriately out of his reach thanks to Gegoshi’s locks. Really, the thought of it irritated him to no end every day. Files that were out of his jurisdiction, him? The director of the organization?? But still did Huitzilopotchli find ways to work despite those asinine restrictions. Thanks to Minu, bits and pieces of long forgotten information were available to him and he managed to find a somewhat detailed file on this Zim fellow. “Hmm.” Kotal mussed whilst whispering under his breath. “Merciful Eldergods.” He gasped, as if he couldn’t believe what he read. “He did what..?” Yeah, he’s not liking what he’s reading.
And even yet he pushes away his laptop and rests his elbows on his desk, chin leaning on his knuckles taking a position that looks awfully familiar to a certain Gendo Ikari. His eyes glowing under the ‘beak’ of his Eagle Knight helmet like a miniature pair of suns.
It’s true, this Zim was a danger to society, and according to the files a danger to himself as well, but the old TASK, as corrupt as they were, had already done the dirty work for him. Zim was subdued, integrated, and even had done jobs for TASK already—albeit poorly. The least Kotal Kahn could do now is see if Zim was interested in renewing his contract. “As I told you before, the TASK you once knew is no more. We are under, shall we say, new management.” He lets that sink in for a moment before Zim’s question takes him surprise. “Snacks?” Normally Kotal would refuse such an offer but he’s curious to see how the Irken would procure snacks from within his own office.
Since the green Irken is oblivious to pretty much everything, Kotal's information gathering means nothing to him. His reactions less so. Zim was apprehended for polluting the multiverse, repeated attempts at kidnapping and brainwashing, and at least two incidents involving inserting chickens into places on the human body that don't 'do a body good'. He was easily captured, doing most of the work himself. His robot was put into evidence lockup multiple times and each time it was set free due to fire or explosions that no one could properly explain. For some reason his file has a note about a Carla Charis and something to do with ovens followed by suspected involvement in a riot started over cookies, no less.
The file on 'Scott' is a terrifying one as well. A multiversal pest caused by a junior mad scientist deciding to go find all of his alternate world counterparts and causing chaos with their combined efforts. The specifics are full of blacked out entries, security codes, and at least two biographies seemingly written by one Scott or another. There are a lot of warnings and danger notices. Can the guy really be that bad? Apparently so if it landed Zim being locked in the basement of the TASK building never to be seen again.
Meanwile with a sage nod, Zim elaborates on his offer for snacks by producing chips, donuts, and beverages in monkey head-shaped glasses from the arms of his pak. "Yes! Snacks! Standard Irken survival gear always includes at least two basic between-meal snacks." He smiles cheerfully as he offers them to Kotal. "And a 50% coupon for Cupcatia! Home of the best cupcakes this side of Branthar IV." A dark shadow crosses over his features momentarily. "Not to be confused with Branthar V, home of the acid drooling sloth monkey brain parasites. You do NOT want to make that mistake more than twice..."
Well, at least this time Zim didn’t procure the snacks from his own office. Kotal wasn’t outwardly showing it but it really did perturb him how all that equipment was apparently hiding in his office. Though the Aztec does encourage healthy living and thus usually looks down on junk food, the monkey shape glasses amuse him and he ends up accepting the offer. He motions for his warriors to get closer and partake on the bounty and his Krew kuriously and kautiously being to nibble at the chips and donuts. Except for Ferra/Torr who down their respective glasses. “It tastes strangely similar to the food found in the 24/7.” Muses Kotal Kahn before pushing his own glass aside and taking Zim’s coupon while listening to his warning. “Acid drooling parasites you say? Sounds like the infestation we had recently.” “At any rate.” Continues the warlord. “We’ve done away with the policies of old TASK. Although we no longer enforce this ludicrous idea of recruiting every invader we capture, we have taken this opportunity to start the organization anew and with it offer a new beginning for our citizens, officers and civilians alike.” Kotal leans in. “That is why I am going to give you something that you haven’t been given before. A choice of whether you wish to continue with TASK or strike out on your own.”
“You see, Zim. Peace keeping is merely another form of subjugation. After all, how do you expect to govern a people when you have other alien threats undermining your rule? The citizens of Twisted are not fully aware of it, but we are at constant war with intergalactic threats. That is why, Zim, should you accept to renew your position I am prepared to offer you a TASK officer badge, a position in the weapons development department and, of course, full accessibility to TASK resources including all of my enforcers, my personal chosen warriors, habitation and the coffee room.” The power of coffee cannot be undermined, Kotal has learned.
“But be warned. If you reject my offer and go back to your world conquering ways you will be just another threat to me and I am not the old, merciful TASK.” Kotal’s glowing eyes narrow dangerously. “If you break the law I will have you thrown into the arena for sport.”
Zim does indeed take a moment to consider the offer carefully. "Hmmm. You are quite wise, my Tallest." Yes. He nods at the realization of this. "The Zim will take you up on your offer. There will be no mistaking that threats to this world must be dealt with. It shall become a shining example of the greatness of the Irken empire! Yessss... this will work perfectly with my plans."
Kotal's final threat only forces the smile on Zim's face to widen. "Break the law? Surely you jest.... Eh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-ha-ha-hah-ha-ha-ha-hah-HAH-HAH-HA-HA-HA-HAH-HAH!!! With TASK behind me, Zim -IS- the law! HAHAHAHAHAHAAH!!!!"
Aaaand paddle to the head, or more accurately, Kotal brings the flat side of his macahuitl right on top of Zim's skull.
“You have chosen wisely.” Smiles the Aztec despite his physical chastising, his macahuitl being set next to him before returning to his Gendo Ikari pose. “First order of business -Officer Zim- is to keep evil laughter to a minimum. It gives us a bad image with the public and we are trying so very hard to distance ourselves from the old TASK.”
“Next, you are to introduce yourself to the rest of the team. You can write a brief documentation about yourself in our automated bulletin board. It is important that everyone is well acquainted with everyone here after all. Once you've done that, report to my personal assistant Minu, she'll give you your badge, access to the laboratory and have you fill out the necessary paperwork.”
“Do you have any questions?”
"HAAA-HAAA-HAAAA-OW!!!" The Irken nearly falls off his chair and begins to rub the back of his head. His red eyes glare angrily. "Pffft, you clearly underappreciate the need for a good malicious laugh, my Tallest. Zim did not waste twelve years of classes on Roombalern to simply go with an innocent chuckle! A good laugh will scare your enemies and spread unease upon your inferiors! LAUGH WITH ME!! Laugh with ZIIIIIIIIM!!!! AHAHA!!! HAHAHAHA!!!! HAAAAA-HAAAA-HAHAHA!!!! HA-HA-HA-HA-HAHAHA!! HAAAAaaaaaaa, whatever."
Yes, that's over with apparently. Jumping to his feet, he folds his arms behind his back and eyes Kotal's men up and down momentarily. "I will expect no less than ABSOLUTE LOYALTY!! Do not question MEEEEEEEEEEE!! My mighty Irken brain is simply TOO SUPERIOR to your..." He takes a long look at Torr. "...well, whatever you are. SHOW ME TO THIS MINU!!"
“No one appreciates an evil laughter more than I do, Zim.” Kotal assures the Irken when he questions the deity’s fondness for a good maniacal laugh that cements your status as a good warlord. “However, appearances are important, which is why I suggest you refrain from doing that in front of civilians.”
“Against evil doers though by all means feel free to gloat all you want.”
The rest of the Krew are far less receptive to Zim’s antics than slow to anger Kotal Kahn. They grumble in annoyance when the Irken demands nothing but their complete devotion. D’vorah takes particular offense as she scowls. “You will demand nothing from us, child!” She says with an indignant tone to her voice. “We are not your subordinates. If you wish something from us you will request it, or else—“ Deadly stingers are brought out from underneath the insectoid woman and one shoots out to sting Zim on his belly. It is however stopped by Torr who grabs it midway.
“Don’t hurt green boy!” Demands Ferra and jumps out from Torr’s shoulders. “We like green boy, we take good care of him!” Says a happy wild child and gingerly reaches out for Zim’s hand to try and lead him away. “Come! We take you to see owl lady.”
Zim eyes D'vorah with a glare of contempt. "I have been promised complete co-" ...and that's about all he manages to spit out before Ferra grabs his hand and cuts him off. "Owl Lady? OWL LADY? What king of trickery is thiiiiis?! She'd better not touch Zim's delicious blood candies!!" His voice lowers as he looks back at Kotal pleadingly, "I need those to liiiiiiive!"
Flailing and kicking he allows himself to be drug off by the tiny humanoid - who is still taller than Zim, of course. It's hard to be in a position of power in a society where height determines rank when most everyone is taller than you. Maybe that's why Zim tries so hard? Or maybe it's because he's too stupid to quit?
...probably that last bit.
Kotal offers no immediate response to Zim's pleads. In fact, he remains perfectly quiet whilst Ferra drags Zim out of his office, Torr lumbering behind them. Perhaps the Aztec decided that he wasn't going to deign that request with a response.
“Emperor, if this one may.” Says D'vorah once Zim is out of ear shot. “Are you certain about this? The green one is.. perturbing.”
“He's a loon, Kahn.” Adds Erron who rather uncharacteristically has something to say. “Coyote meat if I've ever seen any. He'll be useless at best and blow us all up along with himself at worst.”
Confident in his decision, Kotal simply leans back upon his throne and gives a sly smile. “You two said the same about Ferra/Torr when we took them into our fold and they have proven worthwhile allies ever since. Their loyalty and capabilities unquestionable.”
“Twisted is even more chaotic than Outworld. We have to accept whom we have here with both their flaws and their capabilities, as an ideal candidate is only one in a million. In fact..” Kotal then addresses all his minions. “I would hardly call ourselves the ideal police force either. We are all from a brutal world that tolerates no weakness, we are more at home in a war torn land than a city such as this.”
“And yet, we are the best hope Twisted has to not sink into oblivion.”
He drums his fingers on his desk. “Fear not however. Although I am willing to give Zim a chance, I am not doing so without precautions. Minu will ensure that we hear no tomfoolery from him and if he ever tries to step out of line.. well.. Minu has proven to be exemplary when it comes to discplining our soldiers.”
“Needless to say, Zim's fear that she may feast on his blood candy might not be entirely unfounded.”