Horrible Fanfiction #152: Dibra (part 5), an Invader Zim fanfic

This is a somewhat long chapter, hence why it took me a while to finish the summary. Well, that and I’ve got college. And SDR2. Basically, I’ve been putting this chapter off because it’s long and it sucks.

Chapter 1

Previous chapter

Hello readers, here is another long chapter. And it has Zim in it…Oops…Spoilers O_o

There’s strongly implied ZaDR in the summary. This is not a spoiler.

Fish – Dib has skinny jeans only for a little while, he is still a boy at heart and I thought a skirt would be weird for him, at least until he is comfortable being a girl. 

Oh. Right. I remember now why I was so angry at this story.

This right here proves Dib is not a girl, mentally. He has a new body, but as a person he’s no different (well, save for being out-of-character in this, but you know what I mean). If the genderbending didn’t make him a girl, he’s not gonna become a girl just because he gets used to having a female body. That is not how that works.

Trust me. Being in a body that doesn’t suit your gender is not something you eventually get used to and then the issue goes away. It’s only going to become more uncomfortable for Dib, not less.

I can understand why the author wouldn’t realize this. It’s probably not something that most cis people think about. I’m just annoyed that the story, instead of doing either “Dib has a girl’s body now and it makes him really uncomfortable and he just wants to go back to having a male body” or “Dib is both physically and mentally female now, but she just needs some time to adjust to her new body/gender”, decided to go with “Dib is now female-bodied, though not mentally a girl, but once he gets used to it he will MAGICALLY CHANGE GENDERS. Because that’s totally how that works.”

And you are right, fashion doesn’t make the person, the person makes the person. :)

Which is why you spent so much time describing Dib’s new hot girly bod and hot girl clothes. Right, author?

As for Dib feeling uncomfortable…he’s a girl…he’s already uncomfortable. :P

This was in response to commenter Fish pointing out that Dib would probably feel very uncomfortable in feminine clothing.

Here’s the thing. Dib probably doesn’t see his new body as being himself. He looks like a girl now, but the story just told us he doesn’t feel like one. (Not to mention the author is also still using male pronouns.) Dressing up in girly clothes probably only serves to accentuate the divide between his new body and his mental self.

Basically, he’s in denial. He’s looking in the mirror and thinking “wow, look at that hot girl”, not “holy shit, I look just like a girl, this is really weird and uncomfortable”. Eventually the realization will sink in and he’ll start feeling really weird and uncomfortable — or he would, if the author had put any thought into what it would be like to wake up in a body of the opposite sex.

Renym – Would it be bad for me to say I don’t like Dib very much either?

Which is why you are slowly trying to alter every aspect of his being, right, author?

I mean I don’t hate him, just don’t like how he tries to dissect Zim…

This was actually my initial feeling towards Dib. The first episode I saw involving Dib was “The Wettening”, which doesn’t really paint him in a sympathetic light.

I like him now, don’t worry. Just took me a while to warm up to the guy.

I like him and Zim being together, that will always be my favorites :)

So you don’t really like Dib, you just like to ship him with Zim.

Okay.

Thanks for the grammer help, I can never remember when to use “to” and when to use “too”. 

Apparently you also need spelling help.

“Why must there be 2 of them?

Because they mean two different things. Well, actually, “to” means several different things, and “too” means a couple different things, but regardless. It’s not a difficult distinction.

And I did use “chuckles” twice, didn’t I…Oops…I will go and fix that immediately.

Except she didn’t. I commented on her use of “chuckles” in the last chapter. She finished writing this story (or, rather, quit) some time ago.

My muffin has been AVENGED! I give muffins to all of my reviewers. *hands over muffins* Thank you reviewers, this story has 29 reviews. That’s way more than what my South Park story had at 5 chapters!

The reviews for this mess have all been positive thus far, by the way.

Yeah, I know. Weep for humanity, etc etc.

Chapter 4 – School Frenzy

Gaz and I finally get to the skool. I wave goodbye as my sister makes her way to her class on the other side of the building. I then start walking to my own class, despite the fact we are in high skool we still only have one all day class, with the same classmates from elementary skool.

Good. I hate when authors try to have Skool make sense and work like an actual school.

As I walk up the steps, I can feel everyone’s stares on me. Hell I even looked around and saw them staring at me.

“Who is that girl?” I hear people asking those next to them.

I keep walking through the hallways, taking the quickest route to my classroom. Suddenly I feel someone gripping my elbow, forcing me to a halt. I glance at my captor and see none other than Torque Smacky.

“Hey beautiful, whats your name?” he asks me with a perverted look on his face.

Introducing Sexist Torque Smacky! Because making a character disrespect women for no reason totally proves how feminist you are, or something! Also it makes your story so edgy!

“Dibra Membrane.” I say simply, taking my arm back from him. Guess I’ll keep Dibra, it makes this easier than finding a different name.

Torque’s eyes widen. “Membrane? Like as in Dib and Gaz Membrane?” he asks. I nod my head at him.

I guess it’s time for me to point out, once again, that Membrane is not Dib and Gaz’s last name. It’s their dad’s first name.

“So are you Dib’s twin sister?” Torque asks as he looks around, probably for me.

“No, I’m not.” I tell him. “It would be impossible for me to be his twin sister.” 

So is Dib planning on explaining to everyone who he is, then?

With that I walk into Ms. Bitters’ classroom.

I go and sit in my seat, digging through my bag I pull out a book my aunt Veronica sent to me. 

Oh, y’know, Dib’s aunt Veronica.

Opening it up to the first page, I get lost in the magic of the words.

That’s some powerful witchcraft, son. Might wanna do an exorcism on that book once you’re done reading.

(Zim’s POV)

Finally! Zim made it away from that horrible robot and his evil tacos of DOOM! Seriously, Gir kept trying to get Zim to eat his taco, even though he knows what meat does to poor Zim.

Zim does use third-person sometimes, but not exclusively. This seems excessive for him.

I sigh and walk into the horrible Earth classroom I am forced to return to after the pitiful enjoyment that was summer break. Immediately I notice something wrong, the Dib-stink is not in his normal seat. Instead there is a she-human reading a book.

This isn’t right, no she-human monkey should be in Zim’s enemy’s chair! How is Zim supposed to keep track of the Dib-worm if he isn’t in his chair? The ALMIGHTY Zim can’t see through the back of his head!

“She-beast, get out of the Dib-worm’s chair this instant!” I yell at the she-thing.

Okay, Zim’s narration is, at least, more entertaining than Dib’s. I’ll give the author that.

The she-girl looks at me with a glare. “Shut up you stupid alien, can’t you see I’m reading?” she demands before going back to her book.

She knows Zim is an alien! How did she find out? I asks my superior self.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Earth female. Zim is a perfectly normal human worm baby, just like you.” I say quickly.

The female looks up from her book and this time I see that her eyes are a pretty orangey color, just like the Dib’s.

Oh, Zim thinks Dib has pretty eyes, huh?

“One, a normal human wouldn’t say “Earth female”. Two, humans don’t call each other “worm babies”. And three, there is no way you are perfectly normal.” She says narrowing her eyes. “Now go away Zim, I don’t feel like fighting you on the first day of school.”

I tilt my head at the human confused. “Why would you fight Zim? Zim doesn’t even know you.”

The she-beast eyes widen and she gets this weird look on her face.

Did… did Dib forget that Zim can’t recognize him now?

(Dib’s POV)

That’s right! I’m a girl, of course Zim wouldn’t know who I am! 

Duh!

Now let’s keep it this way, and I seriously can start over. No more being labeled crazy, no more getting beat up, this can be the start of a whole new life! I think to myself.

At the cost of disguising yourself as a gender you’re not, forever! Enjoy dysphoria, Dib!

“Uh…right. I don’t know you, now do I…so who are you again?” I quickly stammer trying to save myself.

Zim tilts his head in cute way again. Did I just say he was cute?

You tell me, it’s your stupid narration.

“I am Zim, now who are you she-beast!” he demands loudly.

“Dibra Membrane. Now go away.” I tell him, picking my book back up.

If Zim weren’t so thick-headed, this would be incredibly stupid of Dib. Even so, I can’t help but think that it won’t take that long for Zim to put two and two together. He’s not a complete idiot, at least not compared to many of the show’s other characters.

He goes away but I can see he is thinking about something. If its world domination, then I don’t give a fuck. I realized at the end of middle school that the Earth is a piece of shit and everyone on it is a moron. It was around that time I started cutting.

…man, I hate when Zimfics do this.

The show’s plot is largely dependent on Zim and Dib’s rivalry, and it works because neither of them ever calls it quits. Zim’s plans always go wrong, but he always keeps trying and never learns from his mistakes. Dib, for his part, never gives up “defending Earth”/antagonizing Zim, despite ample evidence that Zim is an incompetent and Earth isn’t really worth defending. This conflict, and the fact that it always ends up with Zim and Dib back at square one having learned nothing, is what drives the plot of the show, and is also important to much of the show’s humor.

For this to work, though, Zim and Dib’s respective personalities have to be such that they must have this dynamic with each other. Thus, Zim is stubborn, egotistical, has a vastly inflated sense of his own importance and intelligence, and so forth. While it’s true that Dib has a side to his personality that’s apathetic, depressive, and comparatively low-energy, he’s also truly zealous about defending Earth and stomping out any perceived alien threats, and his ego can also be pretty big at times. They’re so blind to their own faults that, barring extreme circumstances, character development is all but impossible.

In short, Dib’s being out of character here. I’d maybe forgive it if some convincing reason was given, but since the show itself sets up such a firmly fixed dynamic between him and Zim, there has to be a hell of a good justification for breaking that dynamic.

“Alright you horrible children, sit down and shut up!” our snake-like teacher shouts as she comes into the classroom.

Everybody scrambles to their seats quickly and watches our teacher in fear. Sadly for me, Ms. Bitters notices me immediately.

“Child! Who the hell are you and why are you in my class?” she orders pointing at me.

Okay, on a more positive note, I do like how Ms. Bitters is still their teacher and still treats them like they’re in elementary school.

Thanks, Ms. Bitters, now the whole class knows I’m new. I think to myself.

As opposed to thinking to somebody else?

“I’m Dibra Membrane. Umm…Professor Membrane made me as a…replacement for Dib Membrane…who…died.” I say thinking quickly.

“Oh yeah, what did he die from?” Zita asks snootily.

“Ughh…he was chasing…Bigfoot and fell…breaking his neck.” I say. Please buy it, please buy it, please buy it. I chant silently in my head.

The class looks at me for a second. “Yea, I can buy that.” Someone says. I sigh in relief.

“Sounds like something Dib would do.” Another replies.

Ah, well, this is fitting for the show, at least.

Why isn’t Zim reacting to this news? He’s just been told his arch-rival is dead.

“So are you a robot?” Torque asks me.

I glare at him. “No, I’m a…clone of Dib…but something went wrong so I was made into a girl instead of a boy.”

“So, you’re like the Dib-smell, but not the Dib-smell?” Zim asks tilting his head cutely again. Did I seriously call him cute again?

I was gonna make a dumb joke, but, actually, I wonder if being genderbent had an effect on Dib’s sexuality as well. Dib’s surprise at his own reactions to Zim makes it seem like he’s never found Zim cute before.

“Yes, I have Dib’s memories, thoughts, everything, but I am not going to act like him.” I tell them. Technically I’m not lying about this, I do have my memories and I won’t act like I used to.

“So no bugging us about aliens, or Bigfoot, or something else stupid?” someone asks me.

I shake my head.

“Fascinating, now shut up before I send you all to the underground classrooms.” Ms. Bitters threatens.

Wouldn’t be a bad Zimfic without mention of the underground classroom.

That went well. I think as I begin reading my book again, this is probably another lesson about how doomed we are.

You’re in a bad fanfic, Dib, so yes, you are doomed. I’d pay attention to the lesson if I were you.

*giggles* Next chapter has a big funny surprise! But I give no more spoilers, so you will have to guess! :P

I’m guessing it won’t be surprising or funny.

Your reviews make me so happy, I love reading them when I’m upset because they make me feel loved.

That’s… a little sad.

Please review this chapter, I have the next one typed and ready to go but the evil ostrich won’t let me post it. He won’t let me near the computer unless I can give him a piranha…but I have no evil bitey fish to give him! O_o

Oh my god. You are not funny. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.

Continue reading here.

24 Responses to “Horrible Fanfiction #152: Dibra (part 5), an Invader Zim fanfic”

  1. “I was gonna make a dumb joke, but, actually, I wonder if being genderbent had an effect on Dib’s sexuality as well. Dib’s surprise at his own reactions to Zim makes it seem like he’s never found Zim cute before.”

    I wouldn’t be surprised, it happens in a lot of genderbending stories.

  2. I hope this question isn’t stupid, but what’s SDR2?

  3. Chainsaw Cake Says:

    That final AN sounds like the jokes I made as a three-year-old.

  4. You know, the idea of Zim actually getting angry that someone else is in Dib’s seat is actually somewhat clever and in character. What’s that doing in this no-understanding-of-gender-bending and horribly OOC everyone else fanfic?

    • Yeah, I dunno. At times this fanfic is almost decent, but Dib being made into a Mary Sue and the author’s complete lack of understanding as to how gender works makes this fic ridiculously stupid.

  5. Progeny Ex Machina Says:

    I’ve just gotten the chance to catch up on this, so I know I’m late on the uptake, but I want to say that I really appreciate all the ranting (for lack of a better word) about gender =/= sex. It’s something I’ve hardly ever seen anybody comment on, even when they’re lambasting bad genderswap (sexswap) fic.

    I prefer to assume the bizarrely well-adjusting protagonists in these fics are non-dysphoric genderless. It keeps me from getting too riled up and defensive. But if I continue spilling my thoughts on this, it could end up longer than this chapter, so I’ll probably expound on it elsewhere and link it when I’m done in case anyone’s interested (if that’s all right with you).

    • Sure, go ahead!

      As a trans person myself, I can’t help but get a little rant-y when people are confusing sex and gender. Besides, not only is this really invalidating to the identities of trans folk, it’s also really stupid storytelling. Why would you write a story with genderbending and not want to get into the difference between sex and gender? Why pass up an opportunity to make your story more interesting?

      • Progeny Ex Machina Says:

        Because it would take a lot of effort and serious research to portray such a thing in a non-offensive way, I guess. These writers just want to Sueify characters and hook up their OTPs; all this “social consciousness” stuff just gets in the way! Sigh. (I personally find non-traditional gender and sexuality to be fascinating, but that’s just me. I understand the desire to just let fantasies fly without worrying about their implications. That’s what keeping your writing to yourself is for. I certainly don’t post all my awful plotless self-insert wish fulfillment garbage on the internet.)

        I decided the best way to share my thoughts was to start up a tumblr and put them there. Here’s the post: http://non-gw2-thoughts.tumblr.com/post/61824918390/dibra-chapter-5

        Out of curiosity, if you’re okay with sharing, how exactly do you identify? I don’t want to use the wrong pronouns or anything.

      • Yeah, the author’s main problem, as is the case with most HFF authors, is that she can’t write worth a damn.

        I’m trans male — pronouns are he/him/his. Thank you for asking!

  6. Not that I want to act close-minded, but perhaps you’re setting your standards a bit high for this obviously mediocre writer? I mean, before joining Tumblr I didn’t even know a person could be bisexual or what the word misogyny meant. It’s quite possible this girl has grown up in a more sheltered lifestyle and doesn’t really understand sex or gender-roles as one should. She probably has no idea she’s offending anything. Sure, she’s a stupid, irritating twit who doesn’t know how to use a keyboard, but she’s not bitching on purpose.

    • MSTs are really about the fic, not the writer. I’m pretty sure you’re right that she’s just uneducated about these issues (I think I said that in the MST at one point?), but, nonetheless, it’s a shitty fic in part because she doesn’t understand what she’s writing about. I never said she was purposefully doing this; again, this is about making fun of the story, not the author.

  7. Yeah, i definitely think this person has a gender transformation fetish, why else would they just change Dib’s physical sex but not his mental gender? That also makes no sense if it’s suppose to be “A new start”. I’m pretty sure Dib is just going to accept his female body in the end, cause that’s totally how gender and sex works, just look at X-Change.

    • I didn’t even think of it as being a fetish. I assumed the author just wanted to write ZaDR, but hetero and with (in essence) a Mary Sue OC in place of Dib. Basically, they’re having Dib gradually morph into a new character, starting with physical appearance and eventually encompassing gender identity and personality as well. I’m sure Dib will be a whole different person by the end of this fic, and I’m not looking forward to it.

  8. I find it rather idiotic that Dib has to be – “THE MOIST BEUTIFUULL HOTTTIEST HOTT CHIK IN EVARR!212121211@$&¥¥¥!” (I remember Marrisa calling herself this in her… brick of incomprehensible words.)
    I’ve never read a gender-bender story that hasn’t glorified the protagonist’s sex-appeal. It would be interesting if he was anemic, or perhaps a bit weighted, or a least having one physical drawback other than being irresistibly attractive. It’s not very realistic to make her instantly “hot”. Giving the bender disadvantages would be a really fascinating change for the stories.

  9. Skepkitty, I want to ask a question – Have you ever seen stories that ship a character with the reader, and what do you think of them if you have?

  10. Yo, long time stalker dropping in to chat a bit. Normally, I don’t ever post on these things, but this chapter and the comments piqued my curiosity. This led to a discovery about myself that I probably knew all along, just hadn’t named before. I don’t identify as a gender, I’m just me. Genderless or agender, whatever you like to call it. I mention this cause I was getting kind of annoyed with you rants on the subject of sex vs. gender, and the like. Not because I didn’t care or some other self-righteous reason, I just didn’t get what the fuss was about. For me, it wouldn’t matter if I woke up as a male one day but I just figured I was too laid back to care, or that being bisexual changed your reaction to that. I honestly still don’t understand why it matters what sex you are when you can just be you and do what you want, but I might be a bit too…mmm, I lost my thought. Sorry, it’s 5 am here and I haven’t slept. But anyway, the comments were thought provoking and you help me figure out a little more about my mind. Thanks, Skep!

    • I’m glad I helped you figure out something about yourself, but just to make something clear — gender identity is really, really important to a lot of people, especially trans people, and if you trivialize it people are gonna get their feelings hurt.

      Also, while I’ll take your word for it on the subject of your gender, I should also point out that a lot of cis people seem not to realize how uncomfortable it is to be in a body that doesn’t match your gender identity. I’m fairly used to hearing cis people say “well, if I was born in/suddenly woke up in a body of the opposite sex, I’d just live as that gender instead”. That doesn’t mean they’re actually agender, it just means they haven’t given that hypothetical any serious thought, and by saying it wouldn’t matter to them they are dismissing the identities and experiences of trans folk.

      Again, I’m not saying that’s the case with you. That’s up to you to figure out. I’m just pointing out that the argument that you use is one I see a lot of cis people using simply because they don’t understand the issue they’re talking about.

      Sexual orientation also does not directly correlate with gender identity, so it doesn’t matter that you’re bi. I’m pansexual and transgender. My sexuality and gender identity are two separate things, and one does not determine the other.

      I don’t mean to go off on you, just clearing a few things up.

      • Christ, that’s all complicated. I see what you mean, and don’t see what you mean. I’m sure of myself, as I didn’t just comment on the fly. I researched and debated over several possibilities before coming to that conclusion. I just don’t expect most people to understand my reasoning, as they rarely do. I am in constant study of myself.
        I’m also not arguing a point. I just don’t understand and stated why I don’t. I’m not trying to prove a point of any sort. I know trans kids and I’m friends with quite a few. I just treat them like normal people. Hell, I even have a crush on a friend of a friend who’s trans. Where I live people are very vocal about what they are, who they are, and how they feel about it, so I’m quite used to hearing people rant and rave about various aspects of it. Not that anyone wants to discuss it with me…Anyway, I lost the point again. Understanding, which I still don’t. I love studying the human mind, cause its one messed up piece of flesh, but you can’t do that if all you get told is emotions. But, that’s a rant for another time. Thanks for answering my comment.
        Oh, but please, don’t try to tell me that people’s feelings get hurt if you disregard them, I know that very well.

      • I’m not sure how what I said is complicated, but if you’d like me to clarify anything I’d be happy to.

        My point was in response to you saying you got annoyed at me for ranting about sex vs. gender when it’s not a big deal to you personally. For some people, it is a huge deal, and it’s important not to be dismissive of people’s identities. I’m not trying to dismiss yours, either — like I said, I’m taking your word for it, I just needed to clear up a few things for the sake of anyone else reading the comments on this post.

        The “but I have trans friends!” argument is up there with the “but I have black friends!” arguments on the list of arguments that don’t really mean anything. I’m not saying you’re prejudiced against trans people; I was just pointing out how something you said could be interpreted as dismissive, though I don’t think that was your intention.

      • Ah, that part. I didn’t mean the fact that you ranted about, I meant that you kept ranting about it, if you get what I mean. I was beginning to feel like this MST was starting to contain nothing but ire for this girl’s disregard for sexual identity.
        I get the comparison to the “I have black friends thing,” but I still think its a valid point. I’m not sure what your trying to point out with that. That its a cop-out? But, maybe I’m just showing my ignorance of people in general.

      • Gender identity, not sexual identity — yeah, it’s one of the things I’ll be talking a lot about in this fic’s MST given the topic, you’re free to sit this one out if that bothers you for some reason.

        The “some of my friends are x minority” argument is almost always missing the point. I’m not saying that I think you don’t like trans people. I’m pointing out that you said something that could be offensive to trans people. You don’t need to tell me that you have trans friends; I mean, it’s great that you have friends and that there’s some diversity within your friend group, but it really doesn’t have much relevance and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re incapable of saying something that might offend trans people. To put it another way, it makes it sound like you’re avoiding the point. I wasn’t talking about you as a person and whether or not you get along with trans people; I was talking about something you said. Not you yourself. It’s not personal.

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