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"Ten Minutes To Doom" by Rob Hummel
EXT. SKOOL FRONT YARD - AFTERNOON
High drama... Slow motion... The Skool BELL RINGS. It's three o'clock and all of the kids are heading home.
As credits roll, we see Zim walking happily. Dib and Torque Smacky stand nearby. Dib turns to Torque and says something. Torque CHUCKLES menacingly and throws a ball at Zim. Zim falls to the ground, dislodging his backpack. Everyone LAUGHS at Zim. Torque sees Dib laughing and gets disgusted at his enjoyment. Zim hits the floor and everything goes back to REAL-TIME as Zim's PAK pops off of his back. Dib's eyes light up in shock at the sight and he quickly takes action, grabbing the PAK. He holds it for a beat, awed, then runs off with it. He pushes it on Zim's dazed face, into BLACK as he passes out.
We hear a strange, alien HEARTBEAT. A CLOCK appears on the screen, counting down from ten minutes.
Zim: (V.O.) "Ughh... Whuh? My lifeclock? Why? Lifeclocks don't come on unless.."
EXT. SKOOL FRONT YARD - AFTERNOON
Zim snaps awake, frantic. He reaches around to feel his back.
The CLOCK moves to the corner of the screen, where it will remain for the rest of the episode. The first thing ZIM sees are the faces of his skoolmates circled above him. All the kids point in one direction: down the hall. ZIM follows the pointed fingers with his eyes and sees... DIB, standing at the end of the hall and clutching ZIM's PAK to his chest. Dib looks guilty as heck, realizing he's been caught. He bolts around a corner. ZIM chases him around for a few turns until he loses him in an open area with a huge crowd of kids, but no Dib. ZIM loses it, whirling about in the middle of the crowd, searching with his eyes.
Zim: (SHOUTING INTO CROWD) (CONT'D) "GIVE ME BACK MY PAK, DIB! I need it to LIVE! Without it I can only survive for ten minutes and the countdown has already started! I am NOT going to expire on this filthy planet because of youuu!! " (Zim notices that the crowd is staring at him)"Ehh...forget all that 'need my backpack to live' stuff. Yeah. Um, it's just that... uh... it was full of sandwiches, and I love sandwiches." Behind a nearby pillar on a raised part of a nearby building, Dib has overheard the whole thing. He cradles Zim's PAK like it's taken on a whole new meaning. Zim can be seen below.
Dib: (TO HIMSELF) "This thing's even more important than I thought. Oh hi, Screamy."
SCREAMY, a happy-looking kid, walks by and stops in front of Dib. Immediately after speaking, Dib covers his mouth in horror of what he has just invited. SCREAMY: (AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS) " HI, DIB!! HOW YA DOIN!??!!"
The whole crowd, including Zim, looks up at the sound.
Dib: (WHISPERING LOUDLY) "No, Screamy! SHHH!!! Don't say any-"
SCREAMY: "HOW COME YOU'RE WHISPERIN', DIB!?!! HUH, DIB?!! HUH?! I LIKE YOUR NAME: DIB!!!"
Dib screams, terrified. He clamps his hands over Screamy's mouth, but then runs screaming at the site of ZIM pushing his way through the crowd towards him. Once again, ZIM arrives too late and Dib is gone. He grabs Screamy by the shirt.
ZIM : SCREAMY! Where did he go? Where did the little thief run to?!"
SCREAMY: "I DUNNO, BUT HE SURE DID RUN! AH YOU SHOULDA SEEN'IM! LIKE A GAZELLE! A GAZELLE I SAY! WOW, I SURE WISH I-"
ZIM flinches at Screamy's onslaught of sound.
ZIM : "Come on, Screamy, think! THINK LIKE NEVER BEFORE!! WHICH WAY DID HE GO?"
SCREAMY: "LET ME THINK! LET MEE...UHHH!! UHHHH!!!"
SCREAMY thinks about it. He thinks reeall hard. ZIM is insane with waiting for SCREAMY. The strain of thinking is too much and the top of SCREAMY's head explodes. Black smoke pours out. ZIM drops a moaning and twitching SCREAMY to the ground.
ZIM: (FURIOUS) "NOOOOO! Feeble humans!"
ZIM's eye catches a security camera... Then another, and another; from the looks of things, the Skool is monitored by hundreds of security cameras. ZIM looks like he's just thought of something, and he runs off.
INT. SKOOL SECURITY OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
ZIM bursts into the security room, waking the Security Officer, who sits in front of a huge bank of monitors.
ZIM : "Quickly! My backpack's been stolen! Everything that I am is in that PAK! My memory drive, my charging cell, my atmospheric processor! My ZIMNESS!"
The Officer just stares at him. ZIM rethinks his approach.
ZIM: (CONT'D) "Heh. It also gots my baby brother inside!"
SECURITY OFFICER : " SWEET DONKEY! My baby brother was taken away in my backpack once, too! What can I do to help?"
ZIM : "I need to find the thief Dib!"
The Officer turns to a keyboard and starts typing.
SECURITY OFFICER: "I'm not really supposed to tell you this, but you kids are implanted with a homing chip so we can find you at all times..."
ZIM looks a little uneasy at this bit of information, but he's got more important things on his mind right now...
SECURITY OFFICER: (CONT'D) "Ha! Found him..."
Dib is on the phone trying to contact his father.
DIB: I need to speak to Professor Membrane! This is his son. What do you mean he's busy? This is important! Well, tell him I'm coming to the lab, I have something he'll wanna see..."
INT. SKOOL SECURITY OFFICE:
SECURITY OFFICER: East wing, near the exits!
ZIM rushes out of the office. DIB is around the corner from ZIM, but TORQUE is down the hall.
DIB: Torque? Zim called you a dookie-weenie and says he's gonna beat you up. Look, here he comes now!
DIB: No, no, no... a dookie-weenie.
TORQUE crushes his juice box in his fist. ZIM is now behind him.
TORQUE (CONT'D): WEENIE?! THAT HURTS MY FEELINGS!
TORQUE yells and pounces on ZIM, growling and moaning while ZIM screams frantically. DIB watches from the side. DIB holds up ZIM's PAK.
DIB: You're going to make me very famous, little alien backpack. I just hope... What the-?
Two claws emerge from the PAK and knock over DIB.
EXT. SKOOL - CONTINUOUS
Dib gets dragged off into the streets. Shortly after, ZIM bursts out of the Skool's front doors, having escaped the beating, with Torque not far behind.
TORQUE: " TAKE IT BACK! TAKE BACK THE DOOKIEWEENIE!! Ahhhhhhh!"
ZIM runs into a crowd of pedestrians, ditching Torque for the moment. ZIM stops to catch his breath against the leg of a standing pedestrian.
ZIM : " So... weak... No! My body shell... is already starting to deteriorate! My amazing intelligence... draining. Must reconnect with brain."
ZIM's been spotted, and now he runs again, desperately looking around for a way out. ZIM spots something that gives him hope. He sprints madly and leaps... directly into THE FATTEST SUMO WRESTLER WE HAVE EVER SEEN. He sinks into his girth. Torque walks by, confused. He looks for ZIM but can't find him anywhere. He runs off.
Finally, ZIM's fist shoots out from between two folds of flesh on the SUMO WRESTLER. Triumphant music plays. His face pops up, gasping for air. He flops to the ground. He looks up to see Torque, a block away. Torque doesn't see ZIM. ZIM looks around. He's running out of time. He spots GAZ playing a NINJA FIGHTING video game in an ARCADE. ZIM : "The sibling. Maybe she could... No! An INVADER needs help from no... helper!"
He coughs sickly and wobbles woozily, steadying himself on a nearby doggy. He looks desperate.
INT. CITY BUS - CONTINUOUS
Dib, sitting on the bus, getting many stares, has finally contained the wild PAK, holding it tight against his chest. The PAK suddenly stops struggling. Dib looks alarmed, then relaxes, glad the resistance is over with for now. DIB: " Well, I guess I wore this thing out. I... huh?"
He tugs at the PAK and finds that it's stuck to his chest, attached by two strong cables that seem to actually go INTO him! He rolls around on the floor, pulling at the thing. He eventually calms down. DIB: (CONT'D) "Okay... don't panic... Dad'll know how to get this off. I just have to get to his lab... and then take over the filthy Earth."
Dib slaps his hands over his mouth, horrified by the words that have just exited his mouth.
INT. VIDEO GAME ARCADE - CONTINUOUS The arcade has no front wall and Gaz plays a game nearest the sidewalk. A half-dead ZIM wobbles dangerously, riding the doggy he found earlier like a horse. The dog stops and ZIM flops off to the sidewalk, lying face-up. Gaz stares at him then gives him a lazy kick to the side. He quickly shoots upright, then immediately goes more slack. His eyes look off in two different directions. His speech is slurred and almost incoherent.
ZIM : (all one stream of words...) "Dibsister! Dib stole my backpack and he takes it to your father's lab for experimenting on it and if I don't get it back soon, I won't live no more filthy earth human."
GAZ: "You're not making any sense."
ZIM: (EVEN MORE SLURRED) "Backpak have brain thing make ZIM act like ZIM. Need PAK to think stuff."
GAZ: "Oh yeah... That's MUCH better."
ZIM beats his head against the wall, knocking his eyes back into alignment. Gaz turns her head at the sound of her game (that she had been ignoring since ZIM arrived) ending. ZIM sees the GAMESLAVE 2 poking out of Gaz's pocket and snatches it while she's distracted. He stuffs it into his pocket. ZIM : He also stole your Game device and wants to experiment on it too!"
Gaz searches her pocket. She looks furious.
GAZ: Where did you say he was going?"
ZIM has started to go wall-eyed again.
ZIM : Can't tell you... have to SHOW you... ZIM weak... need Dibsister to carry."
Gaz looks angry... she finally grabs ZIM by the ankle and drags him like a sack down the street.
INT. MEMBRANE'S LAB - CONTINUOUS
PROFESSOR MEMBRANE and another scientist stand next to each other. They have identical workstations, each with a brain in a tray. Next to each of them stand inactive robots with empty heads. A tense crowd of lab technicians watches. One of them holds a stopwatch. Membrane completes whatever he is doing to HIS brain before the other scientist and stuffs the brain into the robot on his side. The robot springs to life. ROBOT: I am FOODIO, the robot that will end world hunger. OFF I GO!"
FOODIO runs off. The stopwatch holder clicks to stop the timer and holds Membrane's arm up victoriously. The crowd cheers Membrane, while the other scientist grudgingly hands Membrane a wad of cash. The crowd leaves the room. Membrane poses heroically as camera-bots zoom in from seemingly nowhere to snaps his picture. Dib runs in, however, scaring the camera-bots away.
DIB : "Dad!"
PROFESSOR MEMBRANE : How did you get in here, little boy?"
DIB : "Dad, it's me, ZIM! I mean DIB! I want you to have a look at this! NOW LOOK, FILTHY HUMAN! I mean... dad."He gestures towards the PAK on his chest.
PROFESSOR MEMBRANE : "Son, I don't like to get involved in your fashion matters, but that big metal shirt of yours is-"
DIB : IT'S NOT A SHIRT! It's taking over my inferior human mind! You have to analyze it! I'm sure you'll be amazed.
Dib activates the spider legs to show off the technology.
PROFESSOR MEMBRANE : "FASCINATING! Perhaps just a quick look."
EXT. STREET LEADING TO MEMBRANE LABS - CONTINUOUS
Gaz rides a motorcycle with a feeble ZIM hanging on behind her and an exceptionally safe-looking helmet on her head. The sound is deafening.
ZIM: (REALLY OUT OF IT) ...hurry....there don't be enough time left...life...draining...ZIM.."
Gaz speeds up, looking angry and determined.
INT. MEMBRANE'S LAB - CONTINUOUS
Membrane uses some scanning tools and probes on the PAK. DIB: It's some kind of parasite! Get it off before... I AM ZIM! Hurry, dad! It's doing something to my brains!" PROFESSOR MEMBRANE : I've almost got it off of you here..."
EXT. MEMBRANE LABS - CONTINUOUS Gaz zooms past the guards, riding ZIM like a horse. ZIM looks exhausted and drooly, and then confused.
INT. MEMBRANE'S LABS - CONTINUOUS
DIB: Careful... Dad, do you know what this means? This device... it IS ZIM. It's his brain and his life support. That means his body is just.... something to carry his PAK around. It's... I AM ZIM AND I WILL RULE YOU ALLLLL!!!"
He uses the legs to push Membrane over. Dib, with robot legs protruding from his belly, scuttles away towards the remaining robot from earlier.
Gaz bursts into the lab.
PROFESSOR MEMBRANE: Gaz! Your brother wants to rule us all! We have to stop him!"
GAZ : "Yeah, yeah. He stole my GameSlave, and now he's gonna PAY."
ZIM flops through the door, looking barely alive. He drools sick goo. The counter is down to about thirty seconds. ZIM : "...give up, Dib...ZIM here now...prepare for...Floooooooog. ZIM FLOOOOOOG!! DuuhhhhHHHhh... "
Dib does some quick work on the robot brain, laughing evilly all the while. He plops the brain into the robot and the robot comes to life, looking insane and spooky-like. ROBOT #2: "I AM DESTRUCTIO! THE ROBOT THAT WILL END ALL LIFE ON EARTH! OFF I GO!! "
Destrucio smashes through a wall and runs into the city. Dib rubs his hands evilly, enjoying his work.
PROFESSOR MEMBRANE: "Noooooo!"
ZIM: (WELLING UP SOME STRENGTH) "Dibsister! Attack!!"
GAZ : "Give me my GameSlave back now and I'll let you keep ONE of your limbs, Dib."
ZIM : "BLUUAAAAAGH?!!"
Dib is too busy laughing hysterically to notice his sister's threats. When her rage reaches its peak, she leaps up, executes a series of ninja moves and knocks the PAK off of Dib. It falls to the ground right next to ZIM. ZIM looks at it for a moment as though trying to remember what it is, then stumbles over and picks it up. He tries to put in on his head like a hat. The clock is counting down... five seconds, four... he tries to stand on it... three, two... finally, he puts it on his back. The clock stops with one second left on it. ZIM's body rejuvenates, looking full and healthy green again. His eyes flash as the data floods back into him. He levitates for a second, full of power.
ZIM: (CONT'D) I AM ZIM!"
Dib raises his head to see the victorious ZIM.
ZIM: (CONT'D) You have no idea what you were toying with, Dib. Your filthy human body chemistry isn't compatible with the PAK. It would've destroyed you! You're lucky I defeated you. HAH!!"
He raises his arms in victory. As he raises his arms, the GameSlave falls out of his pocket. Gaz, standing over her dazed brother and preparing to make good on her threat of limb removal, sees this and her eyes go wide with anger.
ZIM sees the advancing wave of evil that is Gaz, SHRIEKS and runs away. Gaz chases him through the hole in the wall left by Destructio. Dib watches them go, then remembers something very important.
DIB: "OH NO! I MUST STOP DESTRUCTIO!" Dib runs out to stop the monster. Membrane is alone in his ruined laboratory. He shakes his head sadly.
PROFESSOR MEMBRANE : "That boy and his friends..."
Another wall comes down, revealing a furious Torque Smacky, still running after ZIM. He runs through the hole that ZIM and Gaz just exited through.
Torque : "DOOOOOOOKIEEEEEWEEEEEENIE!!!"
Membrane turns the lights off and leaves the room, disgusted.