Horrible Fanfiction #148: Dibra, an Invader Zim fanfic

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the badfic hiatus, because HFF is back with a vengeance, baby. This time, we’re returning to the Invader Zim fandom, and taking on a fic that contains both genderbending and ZaDR.

Most of the time I don’t read ahead with HFFs, but I should mention that several months ago (in March) I read a few chapters of this fic, and it made me very angry.

This fic was brought to my attention by a THW reader on this blog’s Facebook group. I’m not sure if she’s comfortable with me using her name here, so I’m just gonna call her “a THW reader”. Anyways, thank you, THW reader, for sending me this story. Also, a curse upon you and your descendants for sending me this story.

Before we get started on the jumbled mess that is this fic’s plot, let’s take a look at the jumbled mess that is this fic’s initial author’s note. Author Princess-of-Your-Doom95 says:

Hello…this is my first multi-chapter Invader Zim story… I can already tell you that it probably sucks really bad, but I’m going to post it anyways.

Oh, great idea. That always works out well.

I can honestly say that the chapters will be short, possibly no more than 500 words, for awhile. 

Thanks, author! I appreciate it!

I have school, chores, and another story I’m currently working on. Of course you’ve all heard this excuse before.

It’s not an excuse. It’s called having a life outside the internet. I have one too. It’s why I only update about once a week nowadays.

Disclaimer – *opens a letter* Dear author, we are happy to inform you that you do NOT own Invader Zim
*pulls out a lighter and burns letter* Burn! Burn this horrid letter of truthness! *evil author laugh as paper burns and sheds a single tear*

Oh, author, honey. I can see you trying to be creative, but alas, you don’t seem to have it in you.

By the way, I have to wonder about the 95 in her username. Often people include the last two digits of their birth year in usernames; if I see a number in the 90s after someone’s username, I assume that’s the year they were born. The problem is that ’95 is the year I was born, and I’m eighteen. If this author really is a 1995 baby, she was sixteen or seventeen at the time of writing this (the story was published between 2011-2012).

And that’s just sad, honestly.

Prologue

(Dib’s POV)

I am sitting on top of my roof, just looking at the stars.

“Why does my life have to be so crappy all of the time?” I ask the stars. 

“Why the fuck are you asking us? We’re enormous balls of burning gas many light-years away from your tiny, insignificant planet. Also, we’re not even sentient,” one of the stars replied.

“I’m not even sure how we’re talking to you, come to think of it,” added another.

They sparkle at me as if to tell me that its going to be better.

Except it won’t, because this is a) the Invader Zim universe and b) a bad fanfiction. It’s all downhill from here, Dibbers.

“Nobody believes me about the aliens, even when the proof is right in front of them. My little sister is the mega-queen of scary. And everyone at school beats me up and calls me a freak.” I say fingering a large bruise on my cheek.

Well, so far it could be worse. The author isn’t doing a great job writing Dib, but it’s not egregious, either.

Don’t worry, it’ll be egregious soon. Promise.

I plop down onto my back and just stare at space. This is why I really wanted to become a paranormal investigator, to explore what space may have sent us on our little planet. 

Yeah, I really don’t think that’s Dib’s motive. I think he’s paranoid, and rightly so. He’s one of the few intelligent people in a world of idiots. He knows all too well that no one would believe him in the event of an alien threat, no matter how obvious. His stance on paranormal investigation borders on vigilante justice. Sure, curiosity’s part of it, but his main motivator is fear of a threat he alone is mentally equipped to face.

My mother and I used to talk about space all the time before she died. She was going to take me to see every galaxy known to man and alien.

So, for the purposes of this fic, Dib actually had a mother. And he knew her. Okay. I wonder if the author is gonna do anything more with this?

Also, what age are we talking here? How old was Dib when his mom died? For that matter, how old is he now? I can’t tell yet if this fic picks up around the same time as canon events (making Dib eleven or so), or if it’s set a few years later.

“And what really sucks, is the fact mom isn’t here anymore. She would have believed me, she wouldn’t have said I was crazy or try to beat me up. 

Not only did Dib have a mother, she was at least an okay one. That’s kinda interesting, given the universe we’re in here.

Mom would have told me to keep going and to never give up even when things looked bleak.” I say with determination as I sit up, holding a fist up to my head.

Shit, there really is a ton of stuff about Dib’s mom, huh? Is this really serving any purpose in terms of the plot?

I sigh and plop back down on the roof tiles. “I miss you, mom. I know you’re happy though, you’re probably exploring the galaxies as I speak. 

Since ghosts are canon in the Invader Zim universe, can ghosts explore space? Are there, in other words, space ghosts? Because that’s fucking great.

Dib, sweetie, I don’t think you understand how big galaxies are. They are fucking enormous. Even traveling at faster-than-light-speed, it would take you incomprehensibly long amounts of time to properly explore our own Milky Way. I don’t know why you would widen your scope to include several at once, unless distance really doesn’t mean shit to you and you can teleport or something.

…hey, teleporting space ghosts, that’s pretty awesome.

Learning everything there is to know about the endless contents it contains.” I tell my mother’s spirit. I’m sure she left part of herself here to watch over me.

Teleporting space ghosts who can split themselves into multiple parts?

This just gets cooler and cooler. Sign me up to be a space ghost, please.

“You also would be disappointed in me if you were here.” I tell her. “I mean I used to be so sure of myself. But now, I’m a worthless nobody. I’m the insane emo kid that cuts himself in the boys bathroom.” I sigh and play with the bloody bandages on my left wrist.

So is it a couple years later or what?

I’m also not a big fan of emo!Dib headcanons. Dib strikes me as more likely to wind up plain ol’ deranged than suicidal. He thinks he’s the only thing standing between Earth and the impending alien invasion (not that there actually is an impending alien invasion), and wouldn’t want to do himself harm for that reason.

Yes, I know cutting isn’t always about suicide, but my point still stands. I can’t see Dib doing something like that, barring extraordinary circumstances. Also, Dib seems to have a fairly high opinion of himself; that could be concealing some inner self-loathing, but, in that case, the loathing is already manifesting itself in the form of an inflated ego (to compensate). It doesn’t need to also manifest as Dib self-harming.

I sit back up and pull my laptop over onto my lap. 

That is where one normally puts a laptop, yes.

Opening it up, it instantly shows my screensaver which was a picture of me and my mom, Sarafina Membrane. 

Why is Dib such a mommy’s boy all of a sudden?

I was only four when it was taken, but I was stilling wearing my signature trench coat and hair scythe.

Yeah, we know. We’ve seen flashbacks. We don’t need the author to remind us that little!Dib wore the same outfit and had the same hairstyle.

So, age four. Was that when his mom died?

Some things just never change. I think as I smile to myself.

I pull up the alarm program and set it for 7 o’clock in the morning. I don’t think I have the strength to crawl into my room. I just want to stay out and lay under the stars forever, sadly I can’t since school starts back up tomorrow.

I just want to write a fanfic, sadly I can’t since I don’t understand commas.

I sigh. “Goodbye summer, hello hell-hole.” I say to nobody. 

“Hello hell-hole.” What a tongue-twister.

Talking to myself doesn’t exactly help my case of not being crazy, now does it?

No, it doesn’t. The show itself has lampshaded that already, author. You don’t have to, and doing so does not make you clever.

I close my laptop and lay it to the side, so that its in reach when the alarm goes off. I then take off my trench coat and fold it up, placing it under my head like a pillow. 

You’re gonna freeze, kid. Even if it’s a warm summer night, there is likely going to be dew, and it will not help you keep warm. Especially now that you aren’t wearing your coat.

Really. I live on the East Coast. It tends to be very humid here, and the humidity keeps the heat in, so we have warm summer nights. You’ll still be cold if you stay out all night without adequate clothing/blankets, as I know from camping trips. Any heat you lose isn’t going to be gained back with the sun not up. In places with low humidity, it gets even colder at night. Have fun freezing, Dib.

The last thing I see is a shooting star zooming across the dark night sky.

Ooh! Symbolic! Or something like that!

Remembering my mother’s words, I close my eyes. 

Remembering what words?

“I wish that everything was different and I could just start over fresh.” I wish out loud.

That’s a bad wish, Dib. It’s quite vague. Lots of room for (mis)interpretation. You really want to think these things through and choose your wording carefully.

I let out a big yawn and settle down on my trench coat pillow, kicking off my shoes as I fidget against the roof tiles.

Have fun waking up with frozen toes!

The last thing I can remember was a voice that sounded like my mother, but must have been the wind. “As you wish, Dib. As you wish.”

Yes, because the wind can perfectly imitate your mom’s voice. Totally normal.

So yeah, that was the first chapter of my Invader Zim chapter. I hope that you will review it and tell me what you think.

I think it’s pretty dumb, honestly.

Flamers will be thrown to my mutent ninja monkeys who will torture you with 8 hours of interpretive dancing on their new movie, The Banana Princess

“Mutent” isn’t a word. I think you mean “mutant”. I’m not sure what you mean by the rest of the sentence, but deciphering meaningless babble is not how I choose to spend my time, so I’ll leave it alone.

Next chapter: we actually start to have a plot. I know nothing happened in this one. I promise something happens in this story eventually.

Continue reading here.

14 Responses to “Horrible Fanfiction #148: Dibra, an Invader Zim fanfic”

  1. Inbar fink Says:

    So, Dibra’s going to be Dib’s “female” name?

  2. My god, I’ve heard about this Fic before. And now you’re suffering through it. I am so, so sorry.

    Also, no comments on “fingering a large bruise”.

  3. Oh, this is exquisite. I don’t regret showing it to you in the least, even with the added “bonus” of you cursing my entire family. Really looking forward to the next chapter! (I say that both sarcastically and sincerely)

  4. Idrislady Says:

    I am totally about to go write a short story about a teleporting space ghost.

  5. The Overlord Says:

    Welcome back, and good God Dib is angering a lot.

  6. O_O I think I read a little bit of this fic before, a few years ago… It seemed bad then, so I didn’t go past chapter 1…

    I remember there was also a revised version. It’s probably awful, too. (Though I think I read that one, too…)

    I hope for your sake this isn’t the Love Knows No Race of genderbender fics…

  7. Aww… I was going to MST that. There is a rewrite, but it’s mostly boring compared to this one. Great for you to be back, Skep.

  8. Bleh. Seems to me like nothing worth getting upset over. Just a little OOC and sort of bad in writing quality all over. Does it get worse as the fic goes on, or. . .

  9. CaveStoryNinja Says:

    Yay, a new badfic MST. Been waiting for more. Looks like crap so far… In other words, doing its job.

  10. Maybe I’m not up to date on everything, but I don’t think what you are doing here is riffing or MST-ing the fic. To me riffing is making fun of plot points and creating humor. All I get from you is a play by play of the story where you analyze it and correct the grammar and spelling. Its not so much humor as it is condescension. Sometimes you do hit the mark and get a good commentary going, but then it usually devolves back into a critique of the writing. Again, maybe I’m just out of touch and don’t know the procedure for making fun of fanfics and that it is different from TV shows and movies.

    • Have you read any of this MST beyond chapter 1? Most of it is, in fact, me making fun of the plot points. Chapter 1 was a bit difficult to make fun of because, well, nothing really happens. Dib’s just on the roof being angsty the entire time. That left me with few options other than criticizing characterization.

      In chapter 2, Dib gets sex-swapped and the plot proper begins, so I had more to comment on.

      I reread this chapter to see if I was correcting the grammar and spelling too much — I try not to do that, as it’s not funny — but it seems I only commented on it twice, which doesn’t strike me as excessive.

      I’m not sure that there’s any set “procedure” for MSTing fics as opposed to TV or movies. If you look at fanfic MSTs, pretty much everyone has a different way of doing it. Mine tends to be jokey when I have jokes to make and critique-y otherwise — it depends on what I’m working with.

  11. Isosceles triangle with a face Says:

    ‘contents it contains’; for some reason I find that very funny.

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