Zim was sitting on the couch, flipping channels, when Emee hopped up beside him.
"Zim! I ordered a book for you from the library! I think I know how we—I mean, you—can defeat the humans!"
Zim grunted, looking disinterested.
Emee turned and shouted into the kitchen, "Gir, did you get that book yet?"
Gir walked into the living room and turned toward them. Both Irkens gasped in horror. Gir had no eyes, just empty sockets.
"Gir—what happened to your eyes?" Zim asked.
"I got a book about bacon!" the little robot shouted joyfully.
"Gir, you’re supposed to take books back to the library when you’re done with them," Emee scolded him.
Gir looked sad. "But it was tasty."
He handed her this huge book, then walked back into the kitchen. "I’m gonna make toast!" the Irkens heard him say, followed by a loud crash as he walked into something.
"So what is this book, and how is it supposed to help me defeat the humans?" Zim asked distastefully, skimming over the title. It read Nox Doohickey: What’s This Doohickey?
"This guy Nox says that werewolves can’t be real because the werewolves would bite the other people and soon there wouldn’t be any humans left to eat."
Zim put the remote down and folded his arms. "So how does that relate to my taking over the Earth?"
"It doesn’t." Emee tossed the book aside, where its weight caused it to form an impact crater in the floor. The two sat in silence for a few seconds. Zim picked the remote back up and started channel surfing again.
Suddenly Emee blurted out, "Zim, you ought to turn all the humans into Plooka!"
"Yeah! Turn them all into Plooka, then sell the planet to Sizz-Lor. Then he won’t come after you anymore, we’ll both have lots of Monies, and we’ll be free to do whatever we—er, whatever you—want."
Zim didn’t respond at first. Then suddenly he stopped flipping channels. "I’ve got it!" he cried, rising to his feet, still on the couch. "I’ll create a genetically enhanced Were-Plooka that will infect all the humans with a Plooka Virus and turn them into even more Were-Plooka! The entire planet will be a wriggling mass of human Plooka! Then I can sell the planet to my old Frylord, Sizz-Lor. I’ll make lots of Monies, I’ll be off this filthy ball of dirt, and the Tallest will be so impressed by my master scheme they’ll just have to reinstate my Invader status. Imgenious! —Emee! I’ll give you a share of the profit if you help me!"
Dib was eating lunch in the cafeteria the next day, and Zim and Emee were sitting a table away, alternately snickering and peering over at him. Dib was suspicious, but he wasn’t going to let the fear over whatever they were doing to prevent him from eating his lunch. He raised an apple to his mouth and prepared to take a bite, then stopped.
"Hey, there’s a worm in this—aagh!"
Before he could finish his sentence, a Plooka came barreling out of the hole and latched its tiny toothy jaws onto the paranormal investigator’s face. It dangled there a moment, then dropped with a plop on the cafeteria floor and inched its way across the room and out the door. Zim burst into laughter.
"That was your evil plan? Sending a worm to attack me?" Dib asked, rubbing his face. "Your schemes get dumber every day, Zim."
"Son, I’d like you to come in here." Professor Membrane stood in the middle of the kitchen, arms folded, tapping his foot. Every surface in the room was covered in a thick layer of slime, like slug slime.
"Yeah, dad?" Dib inched his way into the room.
Membrane gasped. "Son, what’s happened to you?!"
Dib shrugged, as well as he could without arms. "Dunno, must be another of Zim’s plans."
Dib was halfway transformed from a regular if slightly big-headed human boy, into a Plooka. He had a worm’s body, but his head looked mostly normal, and he was still wearing his jacket and T-shirt.
"Gaz, come in here a moment," Membrane called.
"What is it?" Gaz asked, inching her way in.
Membrane gasped again. "Good heavens! What’s going on around here? Why are both my children turning into worms?"
"Dib tried to eat my head," Gaz told him.
"Son, you know better than to try that," Membrane shook his finger.
"Sorry, dad." Dib heard Gaz growl behind him. "And Gaz."
"Well, I’m going to have to take the both of you down to the lab, and—Son! Stop that this instant!" Membrane quickly snatched his hand away from Dib, who had just bitten him. "I think someone needs a time-out."
"Aww, but dad—"
Zim and Emee stood in one of the science bays, waiting as the words "Calling" flashed on the nearby viewscreen. A second later, Sizz-Lor’s face appeared on the screen.
"Uh, hello? Zim?" he asked, looking surprised.
"Greetings, Sizz-Lor. I have a deal for you."
"A deal? Zim, you’re in no position to be making deals."
"But you’ll like this," Zim assured him eagerly.
"I’ve filled the planet Earth with Plooka, Sizz-Lor. That’s six billion wriggling, squirming, live Plooka." Sizz-Lor’s eyes widened slightly. "I am willing to sell the planet to you, in exchange for my assured freedom, and a percentage of the profit for myself and my soldier."
He nodded toward Emee, who smiled and waved cheerfully.
Sizz-Lor’s eyes narrowed. "Care to show me these Plooka?"
"Of course." Zim pressed a button on the console in front of him, smiling as another window came up slightly behind him, showing a night-time view of the city.
"I don’t see any Plooka," Sizz-Lor remarked.
Zim’s eyes popped open in surprise. Emee was staring, horrified, at the screen showing the city. Indeed, there wasn’t a single Plooka to be seen, just a bunch of humans writhing around on the pavement like worms.
"Is this some kind of a joke?" Sizz-Lor demanded.
"Oh no!" Zim cried. "It’s just like the human legend, they only transform into their Plooka forms under the full moon!"
Sizz-Lor’s eyes narrowed. "Sure. Goodbye, Zim." The Frylord’s image vanished, and the screen went black.
"Wait, Sizz-Lor! The moon will rise any second, then you’ll see!" Zim cried, and pounded his fist angrily against the console. He looked over at Emee, who just shrugged.
Zim and Emee sat on the couch later that night, watching the news.
"Thanks to the efforts of world-renowned scientist Professor Membrane, we’ve managed to trace the source of the Were-worm Virus to this boy—" An image of Dib appeared on the screen "—who claims that he was infected by this green-skinned kid—" An image of Zim appeared next to it "—who Dib claims is actually an alien. Normally, I’d say this Dib kid is just crazy, but we have confirmed that the green kid is not infected with the Were-worm Virus, making him the only person on the planet who isn’t. That’s reason enough for me. I say we break in there and beat him up!" The camera switched to a view of a crowd of Were-Plooka standing outside the base.
Zim shot to his feet in alarm. "Quickly, we have to get to the Voot Cruiser!"
Zim and Emee leaped off the couch, but before they could make a run for the Cruiser, a bunch of Were-Plooka came bursting through the windows, door and even the floor, piling on top of them so that they were unable to move. Dib came inching into the room, followed by Torque.
"I know this was your doing, Zim," Dib growled.
"Don’t look at me, this was all her idea," Zim exclaimed, nodding toward Emee.
"What?!" Emee cried.
"I don’t care whose fault it is, Zim, I just want you to fix it."
Zim screamed, the last thing he saw being Dib’s toothy jaws coming down on his head…